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'All men have their foibles : mine is too much modesty." 


Ifrfo dbttton. 










I am the most unfortunate of men. Some people have 
been ruined by their candour, and some by their cunning 
— this man by his parsimony, and that by his extrava- 
gance ; but I am the victim of— modesty ! The 0' Blar- 
neys of Connemara (the very prefix O is symbolical of 
mauvaise honte) were always a bashful race ; would that 
they had degenerated into impudence in my person ! But, 
alas ! I could never look a bailiff in the face without 
crimsoning like a peony, nor pass a sheriff's officer with- 
out instinctively averting my head. I am a living evi- 
dence that there is a certain something in the climate of 
Erin peculiarly favourable to the growth of modesty. In 
a word, I am the personification of a blush ! 

The censorious reader — but for him I write not — will 
doubtless attribute my misfortunes to anything rather than 
my bashfulness. He will say, perhaps, that my autobio- 
graphy is throughout an illustration of rare impudence 
and roguery : he, however, who is blessed with philosophic 
discernment — who knows the exact relations between 



cause and effect, and how to trace the one up to the other 
through all the various ramifications that lie between — 
will see at once that every calamity which it has been my 
lot to endure may, directly or indirectly, be traced to 
its first great cause — modesty ! 

But to the point. In the following autobiographical 
sketch, which, I should premise, is the mere transcript of 
a fragmentary journal that I have for years amused my- 
self by keeping, I have held it as the first of duties to 
adhere religiously to truth. So scrupulous have I been 
in this respect, that I. have not even spai-ed myself, but 
exposed my occasional little irregularities of conduct — for 
who among the best of us is perfect % — with a minuteness 
and sincerity which I trust will be duly appreciated. Of 
my enemies, too, and of the frequent unpleasant incidents 
to which their machinations gave rise, I have everywhere 
spoken with a calmness and apathy which the lapse of 
nearly fourteen years has engendered in a disposition 
once more sensitive than an aspen leaf. Had I chosen to 
resign fact for fiction, I might easily have manufactured 
a more acceptable work ; but my conscience would not 
allow of such an unworthy compromise : hence my narra- 
tive contains no extraordinary nor pathetic adventures; 
it has neither continuous interest nor artfully-elaborated 
plot; but abounds in "passages that lead to nothing," 
and characters, or rather shadows of character, that come 
and go without a why or wherefore, like the phantoms 
that flitted before the eyes of Macbeth in the cavern of 
Hecate. But thus is it with human nature. To few is 
granted the opportunity of making intimate and enduring 
connexions ; by far the majority of us are like travellers 
at an inn, who, before they have had time to become 
acquainted with each other's habits, manners, modes of 
thought, action and so forth, are compelled to hurry 
away north, south, east, and west, never perhaps to re- 




My name is Q'Blarney. T was born beside a hedge, 
tinder an umbrella, during a shower, about a stone's throw 
from my father's fai'm-house, in the immediate vicinity of 
Gal way. The night previous to my introduction into this 
vale of tears was marked by a singular occurrence. My 
mother, a plump philanthropist of forty, dreamed that she 
was delivered of a rope, a circumstance which the gossips 
in the neighbourhood one and all agreed was ominous of 
a rather unpleasant event in my career. 

My father was a middle-aged farmer, in the usual in- 
different circumstances. In his notions of business this 
gentleman was a staunch advocate of the free-trade sys- 
tem, and, from his vicinity to the sea-coast, he had frequent 
opportunities of reducing his favourite theory to practice. 
He was not, however, one of your vulgar, showy trades- 
men, who make a boast of their profits, and carry on 
business, as if from ostentation, beneath the glaring eye 
of day ; far otherwise. He was quiet, diffident, and re- 
served in his nature, shy in alluding to his gains, and 
allowed night only to be the witness of his more im- 
portant occupations. 

Such being the twofold nature of his vocation — that is 
to say, being a farmer by day and a smuggler by night — it 
must be manifest that he had little or no time to throw 
away on my education, and I, accordingly, shot up from 
infancy to boyhood as wild and undisciplined as a Conne- 
mara colt. 

The history of all childhood is pretty nearly the same ; 
I shall therefore pass it by, and come at once to the 
period when I attained my seventeenth year. At this 
epoch I was placed in the shop of a certain village doctor, 
by name Killquick, a waggish, good-humoured little fel- 
low, who was famous throughout the district for the 


invention of divers specifics, by the help of which he 
wrought the most surprising cures. As the doctor in his 
personal appearance passed the verge of the extraordinary, 
and approached to the miraculous, I must pause to give a 
sketch of him. He had the head of a giant fixed upon 
the shoulders of a dwarf. His eyes were of a gooseberry 
colour ; his nose was gathered up in a bunch in the 
middle, just as if Dame Nature in a frolicsome mood had 
tied it in a double knot ; his teeth were tusks in. shape 
and size ] he had a split in his upper lip, which enabled 
him to give a full and perfect development to the broadest 
grin that ever threw a stranger into hysterics ; his mouth 
was not so much a mouth as a huge gash scored at random 
across his face ; and he had two big red ears, which pro- 
jected from each side of his head like the lamp-lights of 
a mail-coach. 

Next to the doctor, the greatest curiosity in the county 
was the doctor's horse ; which, having long been the sub- 
ject of its master's experiments, had been physicked into 
a most promising state of atrophy. The very leanest 
hackney coach-horse that ever crawled would have 
blushed to be seen in company Avith such a prodigy of 
attenuation. It was just the sort of animal you would 
expect to see grazing on the Great Zaara. Of course the 
doctor was proud of such an evidence of his medical skill, 
and it was as rich a treat as eyes could behold, to see him 
mounted on its back, swaying to and fro like a scarecrow 
in a steady wind, while every little ragged urchin for 
miles round would take flight at his Approach, if only to 
look were to be physicked. 

Under this original my genius for pharmacy (which 
at a subsequent period, as the reader will find, I turned 
to excellent account in South Wales) developed itself with 
such signal precocity that the doctor spoke of me every- 
where among his patients as the most promising pupil he 
ever had ; and even went so far as to intrust me with the 
secret of his recipes, at which, in process of time, I fully 
equalled, if not surpassed him. Moreover he imbued me 


with my first notions of the drama : for, strange to tell, 
he imagined he had a gift that way ; and whenever a new 
company made its appearance at Galway, he always took 
me with him to witness their performances. His fa- 
vourite character was Hamlet, which, he contended, 
should be played in a strait waistcoat, as furnishing a 
lively and original comment on the peculiarities of the 

It is a pity that such a versatile genius should die and 
'•' leave the world no copy ;" but doctors, like the rest of 
mankind, are mortal — more especially when they are in 
the habit of taking their own physic — and accordingly it 
came to pass that my excellent master quitted his patients 
in this world, to rejoin those who crowded the other, in 
consequence of having, in a moment of forgetfulness, drunk 
a hearty draught of one of his own elixirs. 

From his hands I was transferred to those of Father 
O'Flannaghan — a round, rosy, comfortable ecclesiastic of 
the old school, who, at my mother's express instigation, 
invited me to take up my abode with him. This was a 
change in my condition, if not for the more agreeable, at 
least for the more edifying ; for the ghostly father was 
clever, and even learned ; possessed a decent miscellaneous 
library ; taught me arithmetic, together with a smattering 
of English, French, and Latin, as also how to manufacture 
whisky-punch. I owe to this worthy man my first fit of 
inebriety. The debt is not considerable, certainly ; but, 
in recapitulating past civilities, it is but justice to ac- 
knowledge it. 

Unlike the generality of Catholic priests, Father O'Flan- 
naghan had seen much of the world, and, as is xisually the 
case Avith such men, piqued himself not a little on his 
discernment of character. He early prophesied my rise 
in life, from having marked the attention with which I 
listened to his remarks, and the facility with which I 
adapted myself to his habits. The respect of youth is 
the most effective compliment that can be paid to age. 
Worldly natures are peculiarly alive to this flattery. 


They imagine it the outpouring of artlessness and sin- 
cerity, which experience has taught them it is al Jbut vain 
to expect from those of their own age and standing. 
Many a shrewd, experienced veteran have I seen, whom 
Machiavel himself would have failed to hoodwink, become 
the dupe of unsuspected boyhood. 

Father O'Flannaghan felt my deference to his opinions 
as a compliment in its fullest acceptation, and showed 
that he felt it, by the way in which he repaid me with 
exhortation. " Ever bear in mind, Terence," he was often 
in the habit of saying, " that the world is large enough for 
us all, and that, in order to succeed, it is only necessary 
that we desire it. True, society is a sea full of rocks and 
breakers ; still, he who trims his sails according to wind 
and weather will be pretty sure to navigate it with safety. 
Most men, however, quit the port in the ' Shippe of Fools' 
— that is to. say, start on their voyage m what they call a 
spirit of truth and independence. Now these, though 
plausible, are silly terms, and mean neither more nor less 
than that they are resolved to set up their own judgment 
in opposition to that of the world. You, I should hope, 
will be guilty of no such presumption. Clever as you may 
deem yourself, the world is cleverer still ; so take my ad- 
vice — yield to it, flatter it, fall in with its Immours, 
and adopt its prejudices, till you have made it your friend 
for life. A man who quarrels with society, O Terence ! 
is like a schoolboy, who hopes to spite his master by going 
without his own dinner. 

"The great object of existence is the acquisition of 
power. Gain this conscientiously if you can ; but, at all 
events, gain it — for the world respects you solely for your 
influence ; it has neither leisure nor inclination to canvass 
the means by which yoxi gained it. Remember, also, that 
man is the natural prey of man, and that, if you refrain 
from turning your friend to a rational and profitable 
account, you will do him no service, but yourself much 
injur y, for some other less fastidious individual will be 
stire to step into your position. But, whatever you do, 


be it with friend or foe, always do it in what Englishmen 
call ' a business-like fashion,' for the word ' business ' 
has a talismanic virtue, and, like charity, covereth a mul- 
titude of rogueries. 

" Moreover, in your intercourse with society, be careful 
to reserve your smiles for those above, and your frowns 
for those beneath you. If, however, you cannot reconcile 
it to your innate sense of virtue to be perpetually flatter- 
ing your superiors, you can easily make up matters with 
your conscience, by telling truths by wholesale to your 
inferiors. There is one more point which I cannot too 
strongly impress upon your attention. Never forget that 
you were born and bred a Catholic. "Without religion, 

my child ! vain are the hopes of man ! Dixi : I have 

Such, with few or no variations, was the usual sub- 
stance of Father O'Flannaghan's rather questionable admo- 
nitions, which, by being frequently repeated in terms of 
kindness and good-humour, produced a strong but imper- 
ceptible impression on my mind — indeed, I may almost 
say, moulded my entire habits of thought and action. 

I continued with this good man up to the period of my 
twenty-first birthday, when he was unexpectedly sum- 
moned to take his seat in paradise, beside St. Peter ; and 

1 returned to my father's roof, wiser, certainly more self- 
confident, and more ambitious, but quite as poor as when 
I quitted it. About this period, too, another visitation 
befell me in the death of my mother, who was accidentally 
killed by her own brother, in one of those pugnacious 
moods with which the best of Irishmen are at times 
afflicted. It is soothing to reflect that the worthy lady 
died in excellent spirits, and that, on the Sunday iollowing 
her wake, one-half the parish appeared at chapel with 
their heads bound up. 




Passing over a host of unimportant incidents, I ap- 
proach the period of my first love. My first love! "What a 
world of ineptitude and insanity is comprised in these two 
words ! How many wits have they set a wool-gathering ! 
How many, qualified for Bedlam ! The object of my attach- 
ment was the only daughter of the seneschal of the manor. 
She was a graceful, sprightly young creature, a piquant 
mixture of the coquette and the prude ; with an eye 
blacker than a Berkshire sloe ; hair soft and dusky as 
twilight ; a mouth small, flexible, expressive, and in the 
angles of which an arch smile perpetually nestled ; a bust 
formed on the purest classic model ; and a figure tall, slim, 
yet just sufficiently plump and rounded to convey the idea 
of perfect health and symmetry. 

1 had been in the habit of encountering Miss Mahoney 
in the course of my daily strolls about the neighbourhood, 
and, though I cannot take it on myself to assert that she 
made me the object of any very marked scrutiny, yet a 
thousand casual acts of attention made me fancy that I 
was not altogether indifferent to her. 

When once this flattering notion had fixed itself in my 
thoughts, it is astonishing how, chamelion-like, it contrived 
to feed and thrive on air. There is nothing like idle- 
ness to nourish the sentimentalities and conceits of youth. 
Once or twice Miss Mahoney called at Father O'Flanna- 
ghan's cottage — I could not choose but remember the visit, 
for my revered preceptor happened to be seriously indis- 
posed at the time — and on these occasions she never failed 
to intreat me to watch over her father's friend and con- 
fessoi-,for her sake. Once, too, as I was guiding a remarkably 
handsome young English officer towards Gal way, whither his 
regiment had been lately ordered, Miss Mahoney passed us 
on horseback, when I instantly detected a blush on her 


countenance. These, together with a multitude of other 
trivial circumstances, which I cannot stop to explain or 
analyse, brought home to my mind the delightful assurance 
that I was not unbeloved by the finest girl in all the west 
of Ireland. 

We moved, to be sure, in different circles ; but what of 
that 1 Love is an arrant leveller, whose pride it is to over- 
throw all the obstacles which circumstance and situation 
may oppose to his progress. 

Irishmen are proverbially sanguine, and from the first 
moment of my encounter with Miss Mahoney I felt per- 
suaded that fate had destined us for each other. This 
idea haunted me incessantly. I became shadowy and 
transparent, affected the moonlight, and sought for sym- 
pathy in the stars. If I went out for a ramble, it was to 
steal a glance at Miss Mahoney. If I smiled, it was on 
Miss Mahoney. If I prayed, it was for Miss Mahoney. 
If I rhymed, it was on Miss Mahoney. If I swore, it 
was by Miss Mahoney. If I dreamed, it was of Miss 

My father was the first to perceive my altered mood. 
We were seated together, one raw night, beside a turf- 
fire, when roused by a sigh, which involuntarily escaped 
me, he laid down his jug, and, looking at me with a serio- 
comic air, said, " Terence, jewel, what ails you ?" 

For the life of me I could not answer. 

" By the powers, the boy's bewitched !" rejoined my 

" Right, sir, I am bewitched." 

"Aisy, lad, and tell me all about it ; sure, then, it's 
myself will see you righted — at least, so there's no law in 
the case." 

There was a plausibility about this that at once gained my 
attention ; for I could not but remember that my father 
had himself, in early life, been a martyr to the tender 
passion, as he proved to demonstration by the forcible 
abduction of two farmers' daughters, one of whom was an 
heiress. For these sprightly sallies he had fallen under 


the serious displeasure of the law, against which he had 
ever since entertained a strong, and, under the circum- 
stances, not, I think, an ill-founded prejudice. From such 
a man, therefore, I felt I had every right to look for sym- 
pathy ; so after a moment's hesitation, when he had twice 
repeated his question, I burst out with, " Father, I'm in 
love !" 

I thought he would have gone off in a fit at this con- 
fession. " Father, I'm in love," he said, mimicking the 
touching sadness of my voice and countenance. " Ha, ha, 
ha ! was ever such a thing heard of ! And pray, Terence, 
who are you in love with 1" 

When I mentioned the lady's name, my father's laughter 
broke out with more violence than ever. " Oh, murder !" 
he exclaimed, digging the tears out of his eyes with his 
knuckles, " this lad '11 be the death of me !" 

" Then, sir," I suddenly replied, " since you turn my 
sufferings into ridicule, and give me not an atom of en- 
couragement, I shall go aud hang myself." 

" And what good '11 that do — hey, Terence V 

The question was a striking one, and reconciled me at 
once to existence. Nevertheless, despairing of receiving 
any further serviceable suggestions from a man who was 
fast hastening to pass the boundary-line of sobriety, I 
resolutely refused to answer any more of his cavalier in- 
terrogatories, but wrapping myself up, as with a mantle, 
in the silence of a lofty indignation, quitted the room, 
and retired up the ladder to bed. 


love's labour lost. 

The next day the conversation of the preceding night 
was resumed. But, singularly enough, my father's notions 
had in the interim undergone a total change. Instead of 
ridiculing my presumption, or giving up my case as hope- 


less, he now advised me to persevere, and even went 
the length of urging me to indite what he called " a fine, 
flourishing" love-letter to Miss Mahoney, to which I added 
a postscript, stating that the individual to whom the note 
referred would himself wait for a reply the next day in a 
certain sequestered lane, whose geographical position I 
took care to lay down with all the accuracy of a Guthrie. 

Well, the letter, penned, folded, and addressed, was 
consigned to my father's custody, who forthwith set out 
to deliver it into the hands, if possible, of the lady herself, 
while I spent the interval of his absence in conjuring up, 
like Alnaschar, a thousand flattering anticipations. Within 
the hour the old man returned. He had delivered my 
missive, he said, with an arch smile, to a footman at the 
hall-door, and, after waiting full ten minutes for a reply, 
was informed by the servant, at the express command of 
his mistress, that none was needed. 

Silence gives consent. This, I believe, is a generally 
admitted axiom. I, at least, was not willing to suppose 
otherwise, and so persuaded myself that I had but to make 
my appearance, in decent trim, at the appointed place of 
rendezvous, to be received as my merits deserved. 

Decent trim! The phrase was an awkward one, and 
replete with discouraging reminiscences. I was, in truth, 
most delicately situated in this respect. My coat, like 
the "Giaour," was "a fragment ;" and my hat, like Charles 
the Tenth, had lost its crown. In the more secluded 
Irish villages, among the humbler class of farmers, pos- 
sessions such as these are either acquired by inheritance, 
or left by will as legacies. No man dreams of purchasing 
them on his own account ; he would as soon think of set- 
ting up a carriage. I was not an exception to the general 
rule, consequently my ancestral wardrobe was in a con- 
dition better calculated to extort reverence than admira- 
tion ; and nothing but the ingenuity and perseverance 
of my father, who assisted me in the arduous endeavour 
to render it again fit for service, enabled me at length to 
work out my ideas of decent trim. 


It was a delightful morning, when, like my celebrated 
countryman Sterne, I set out on my -sentimental jour- 
ney." The birds were singing on every hedge they could 
find to sing on ; the wild colts were running races on the 
moor ; the spirit of uni rersal happ'r.ess lay soft and sunny 
upon the earth. 

As I tripped onward, I felt the gladsome spirit of the 
hour pervade my every thought. The breeze that blew 
freshly about my brow ; the grass with its cool, cheerful 
green, brought brighter out by the sunshine ; the streamlet 
chattering beside my path, like some young companion 
who prattles out of the exuberance of animal spirits ; in 
a word, all sweet sounds, and sights, and refreshing in- 
fluences of earth and heaven seemed to have entered into 
a benevolent conspiracy to elevate 3ne to the very pin- 
nacle of buoyant self-confidence. 

On I went, through fields and across moorlands, till I 
caught the first glimpse of the appointed lane ; when, 
halting beside a stile, close under the shadow of an elm, 
I began to frame an address worthy of myself and Miss 
Mahoney. I felt that I had but to speak to conquer. 

Thus absorbed in seductive reverie, I came within sight 
of the place of rendezvous. On reaching the nearer end, 
I again halted, and cast a hurried glance around me, to 
ascertain if aught in the shape of female form were moving 
behind or before me. But all was still and breathless. 
Presently I heard a rustling in the hedge close behind 
me. I listened — the branches parted with a crash — but 
instead of the laughing, sylphide figure I expected to see 
bound through the aperture, an old cow stared me full 
in the face ! 

At length my disappointment bade fair to be ter- 
minated. The sound of footsteps came quickly up a nar- 
row bend of the lane, and in a few minutes three men, in 
whose faces I was not slow to recognise more mischief 
than sentiment, advanced towards me. The foremost of 
the squad — and my heart sank as I made the discovery — 
wssa favourite English groom of Mr. Mahoney. "What," 


said I, " can this advent import ? Nothing surely but 
disappointment. Yet why should it be so 1 I cannot 
have been mistaken in my anticipations. Those smiles, 
that look, can they have — ? No, no — it must not, cannot 
be. Courage, then ; all will yet be well ;" and, thus 
re-assured, I boldly resolved to await the result of circum- 

'• Terence," said the vile Saxon, " is this your letter V 
holding forth the very note on which I had so much 
prided myself. 

" Yes," I replied, in a tone of becoming confidence. 

"And you hope to receive an answer from my young 
lady in person V 

" Undoubtedly." 

" Truly, a very modest confession." 

" Sir," said I, '•' it is not with you that I want to speak ; 
when I need your counsel, I will not fail to ask it." 

The wretch turned to his fellows with a sneer. I 
caught the malign expression, and, overcome by a vision 
of the stocks and horse-pond, prepared for instant flight. 
But the man was not to be thus baulked. He had evi- 
dently anticipated some such manoeuvre ; and before I 
had time to enter into satisfactory explanations made a 
sign to his satellites, who, with an alacrity which I shall 
never think of without disgust, seized me by the legs and 
arms, and trotted off with me towards a neighbouring 
field, where a mob of Mr. Mahoney's tenantry were 
anxiously expecting my arrival. 

On seeing me approach, the whole assembly burst out 
into uproarious laughter, and in an incredibly short space 
of time adjusted, a blanket, threw me like a sack of pota- 
toes right into the middle, and sent me, head over heels, 
high up into the astonished sky. 

I forbear to enumerate the reluctant somersets T threw ; 
I shrink from details of the height to which I rose, or the 
depth to which I fell : suffice it to say, that at one mo- 
ment I was as near to heaven as a doctor's patient, and 
the next as far removed from it as a lawyer. 


For at least half-an-hour I kept rising and sinking in 
this very indecorous fashion — now impersonating the sub- 
lime and now the pathos — at the expiration of which 
time I was set once more on my legs, and complimented 
on my brisk evolutions, amid the cheers of some hundred 
plebeians. What a termination to "Love's young dream !" 

Overcome with shame, disgust, and offended delicacy, I 
was just preparing to sneak from the field, when whom 
should I encounter but — my father ! The old man said 
nothing ; but when he winked his eye, and laid his fore- 
finger beside his nose, at the same time casting a sly glance 
at the blanket, I thought I should have gone distracted. 
To be thus outraged by a mob and jeered by a parent — ■ 
to have one's earliest and holiest sensibilities thus blighted, 
as it were, in the bud — flesh and blood could not endure 
the shock ; so, like a maniac, I rushed from the scene of 
action, nor once halted till many long miles lay between 
me and the scene of my humiliation. 



After three hours' incessant walking, during which 
my fertile fancy had shaped out a thousand plans for the 
future — for, resolved never to return home, I already 
looked on myself as a citizen of the world, who must 
henceforth be the artificer of his own fortune — I was com- 
pelled from sheer exhaustion to come to a halt "so seating 
myself on a hillock a few yards from the high-road, I 
reviewed, as dispassionately as the state of my ribs would 
allow, the events of the last few hours. 

" Had I possessed but ordinary assurance," I said, " I 
should not have been thus situated. What had I to do 
with sneaking like a vagrant about lanes waiting for 
stolen interviews with young ladies 1 I should have 
known better what was due to the dignity of manhood 


— have gone boldly up to the hall — pleaded my cause in 
person — and trusted to my stars for the result. Instead 
of which I have proved myself an arrant spooney ! Is it 
wonderful, then, that I am treated with contempt 1 Is 
not a blanketing the legitimate inheritance of such a 
ninny % O fool ! fool ! this confounded modesty will be 
thy ruin !" 

Turning from this by no means agreeable reverie, I 
nest proceeded seriously to discuss the plan of my future 
proceedings. And now the advice of Father O'Flannaghan 
recurred to me with healing effect. " Yes," I exclaimed, 
" I will indeed adhere scrupulously to thy admonitions, 
thou kindest and most apostolic of sages ! I will neither 
despond nor become desperate, for the world is wide enough 
for us all, and Fortune is rarely coy to those who know 
how to contend for her favours. If one thing fail, I will 
try another. I have talents, I have — thanks to thy tuition 
—something of education ; and Nature, if she has cursed 
me with shame-facedness, has, it is to be hoped, blessed 
me with sufficient energy to neutralise it. En avant, 
then, be my motto." 

By this time the day was wearing on, and as my afflic- 
tions, though severe, had not wholly deprived me of 
appetite, I made all possible haste towards the nearest 
wayside inn. My speed was unincumbered with bag and 
baggage, for my whole wardrobe was on my back, and my 
whole stock in cash consisted of two shillings and a few 
stray tenpennies. 

By twilight I reached a little town, or rather village, 
and entering a small social inn, over whose door frowned 
a fierce likeness of Brien Boroihme, called for the land- 
lord, and ordered supper in that tone of authority which 
implies the possession of the ways and means. 

The man hastened to obey my summons, and in a few 
minutes returned into what he was pleased to style the 
coffee-room, with some cheese by no means improved by 
age, hot potatoes, a loaf of home-made bread, and, what I 
feel justified in asserting was, very passable whisky. 


The sharp edge of appetite was ?oon blunted on these 
viands, to which a bowl of whisky-punch lent the finest 
possible relish, and rendered me a while insensible to all 

In the course of the evening the room, gradually filled ; 
and just when my spirits had attained an enviable point 
of elevation, and I Avas ripe for any frolic, a random re- 
mark in abuse of certain of Mr. Martin's electioneering 
agents at Gal way, let fall by an individual who was drink- 
ing with some others at a table at the far end of the room, 
gave rise to a tart rejoinder from one of his companions, 
to which he as tartly replied ; and with such effect, that 
he drew down on himself the notice of some half-dozen 
others, who, though they evidently knew nothing of the 
merits of the case, yet could not witness these first virgin 
blossoms of a row without doing their best to bring them 
to maturity. 

A crowd, therefore, was soon gathered about the dis- 
putants ; the strife of tongues began to wax loud and 
louder, till at length a blow, aimed at the author of the 
fray by one of the aggrieved Martinites, brought on as 
pretty and promiscuous a fight as could be desired. It 
was indeed a lovely "scrimmage." No one dreamed of 
siding either with this party or with that ; impartiality 
being the order of the day, all you were expected to do 
was to pitch into your next neighbour, and get as much 
fun out of him as possible. 

Was I idle all this time 1 ISTo ! It was not in human 
— certainly not in Irish — nature to resist the temptation. 
In a wonderfully short space of time, therefore, I found 
myself in the very thick of the battle, anchored along- 
side the individual whose wild rattle had originated it. 
Scarcely had I taken up this position, when such a terrific 
blow was aimed at my neighbour's head as must infallibly 
have demolished him, if I had not intercepted it by dex- 
terously interposing the leg of a broken stool with which 
I had armed myself. 

On seeing this, he turned round, and giving me a look, 


as much as to say, " T am too busy now, but will thank 
you when it is all over," set to work again, in concert 
with myself, with such well-directed energy, while the 
others were all hammering away at random, that when 
the landlord rushed in to separate the combatants, we 
were the only two who were not lavishly embellished with 
black eyes, and other such pugilistic illustrations. 

After a cleverly-sustained affair of about half-an-hour, 
peace was restored. Some quitted the coffee-room for the 
purpose of anointing their wounds ; others resumed their 
places in high glee at the entertainment they had just 
received ; while the stranger whom I had so opportunely 
befriended, after squeezing me by the hand a dozen times, 
took his seat beside me, and insisted on drinking to our 
better acquaintance. 

Something there was about this individual which at 
once conciliated my good-will. He was smart and flip- 
pant in speech ; frank and cordial, with a dash of inde- 
pendence and assumption, in his manner; which, combined 
with a certain knowing air, half-comic, half-disconsolate, 
betokened the reckless adventurer whose entrance into a 
coffee-room is the signal lor the landlord to take away the 
silver spoons. 

In the course of conversation with the stranger, after 
he had explained to me the origin of the late quarrel, we 
slided imperceptibly into that most attractive of all topics, 
the state of our mutual affairs. My story was soon told, 
though not without repeated interruptions from the laugh- 
ter of my companion, who inquired, when I had brought 
it to a close, what I intended to be my next plan of pro- 

" I know not," was my reply ; " my wits are completely 
at sea on the subject. Possibly I may enlist as a soldier." 

"And serve your first campaign against the AVhite boys 
in a Connemara or Tipperary bog, with an equal chanc 
of being shot, smothered, hanged, or carded ! Why, my 
good fellow, your project is as green as the Green Isle 
itself. Think again," 



"Well, then, I have been considering also whether I 
should not make the best of my way to Dublin, and 
endeavour to procure a situation with some chemist or 
apothecary. I have had some little experience in that 

" Killed your man, no doubt. What say you to offer- 
ing yonr services to some of the farmers hereabouts 1 
This is just the right time, yon know." 

" Sir !" said I indignantly, " I was born for nobler 
objects than to walk at the plough-tail behind two bul- 

" Ambitious ! 'Gad, I like your spirit." 

" Yes, Father O'Flannaghan used often to say, that if 
I played my cards well, I should rise in the world. ' The 
lad is not without genius/ was his frequent remark to my 

" Genms ! Curse the phrase ! I never hear it, but I 
think of a bailiff. Nothing nourishes that has the slightest 
connexion with it. Look at me — I should have been a 
rich man by this time, if it had not been for my genius." 

"Yet Father O'Flannaghan used to say that genius, 
properly — " 

" Hang Father O'Flannaghan ! He knew nothing 
about the matter. Will genius fill your purse when it is 
empty — will it go bail for you — will it even pay your bill 
to-night 1 But let us drop the subject. Are you fond of 
the stage ?" 

" Very. In fact, I believe I have a turn that way ; for 
when living with Dr. Killquick, I was a constant visitor 
at the theatre." 

" Indeed ! Then, perhaps, I may be able to do some- 
thing for you. I am an actor myself." 

" Is it possible 1" said I, in a most deferential manner ; 
" yet, now I come to look more closely into your features, 
I do think I saw you play Hamlet one night at Galway 
—at least I remember a performer being hissed off the 
stage in that character." 

" Sir, you have a very absurd way of expressing yo\jr«. 


self. I never played Hamlet at Galway, and never mean 
to do so. The people there are wholly incapable of appre- 
ciating a man of mind in such a part," 

I was convinced by this I was right, though I dis- 
creetly kept my opinion to myself, while the Thespian 
proceeded as follows : — 

" Yes, sir, I am not only an actor of experience, but, 
unfortunately, also of just sufficient genius to — " 

" Excite the jealousy of your brother actors." 

"Egad, you have hit it. The last corps to which I 
attached myself was the one now playing at Limerick, 
where I was a deserved favourite ! " 

" How, then, came you to leave it 1 " 

" Leave it 1 It was impossible to stay. Why, sir, 
would you believe it, notwithstanding the houses I drew 
as Dennis Brulgruddery, the manager, jealous of my 
genius, put another man into the part ; and, not content 
with this, actually stuck his name in large red letters at 
the top of the play-bill, while he printed mine in the very 
smallest type at the bottom — just above Vivat Hex! 
Scandalous ! Wasn't it V 

"Yes; but what brings you to this out-of-the-way 

" I have been assisting at a friend's benefit at Galway, 
and am now on my way to join the company at Molly- 
moreen. "Were you to take my advice — by the bye, just 
hand me over the whisky, talking always makes me thirsty 
= — you would do the same. Talk of pleasure ! The actor 
is the only man who really knows what it means. At 
one moment, flush of wealth ; at another, without a six- 
pence ; this night, figuring in a gorgeous theatre ; the 
next, in a homely barn ; now, sipping champagne with 
squires ; and now, swipes with vagrants ; hanging loose 
on the skirts of society, a very Arab in independence — 
there is no condition in life so replete with all the elements 
of change and, consequently of interest, as that of the 
actor. True, he has his cares ; but how slight — how very 
slight must these be, when a glass of such p\mch as this 


can i>ut them all to flight ! No, no ; despite my own ill- 
luck, your stroller is the happiest dog in existence." 

" Yoii don't say so !" said I, catching the iniection of 
his convivial enthusiasm. 

' : Indeed, but I do, though. Conceive the ecstacy of a 
first appearance ! The crowded house — the glittering 
lights — the inspiring music — the stare of approving critics 
from the pit — the fond gaze of beauty from the boxes — ■ 
and then, as the first wave of your plumage is caught 
from the side-wings, the profound, universal hush, so 
sudden, so intense, that were a god but to blow his nose, 
there would be an instant cry from all parts of the house 
of ' Throw him over ' — conceive all this, I say, and allow, 
with me, that the actor's life is the only one to which the 
name of pleasure can really apply !" 

My fancy was fired with this description ! In idea I 
was already a Garrick ! My companion marked my emo- 
tion. " You would make a capital actor !" he continued ; 
'■ but I will not press the question further at present. I 
see you're affected ; probably by to-morrow you will be 
inclined to entertain a favourable opinion of my project. 
Meantime, let us replenish. Come, I'll give you a toast — ■ 
'Success to the stage.' 'All the world's a stage,' as the 
divine Billy says. Not bad, hey ?" 

A fresh bowl was the result of this sally, over which 
we sat carousing till long past midnight ; when, our fuel 
being exhausted, the candles low in the sockets, and the 
landlord imperative, we retired to our dormitories. 

The next morning I awoke with a desperate headache, 
which was still farther increased by the amount of the bill 
sent in by the landlord ; who, deceived, naturally enough, 
by my appearance, had charged me at a most exorbitant 
rate. This comes of looking like a gentleman ! 

Kabelais has well observed, that the hour of reckoning 
is the most melancholy in the whole twenty-four. I found 
it so ; and was ruminating sadly on my destitute state, 
when my new friend came to my assistance. 

"I can gue,33 your thoughts," said he; "whenever a 


man puts on a long face, it is always for want of money." 

"You have guessed right. I am seriously troubled 
just now on that score." 

" No wonder ! all scores are troublesome. But be of 
good cheer, man, I will pay the reckoning. Nay, no 
apologies ; I happen to be tolerably well off at present, so 
can afford to do a good turn. Besides, I have taken a 
fancy to you." 

" But, my dear sir — " 

"Not a word, Hal, an' thou lovest me. Remember, I 
am now in your debt, for you last night saved me from a 
broken head. If, however, your pride dislikes the idea of 
obligation to a stranger, you have it in your power to 
appease your conscience by accepting an engagement at 
Mollymoreen. I am sure I shall be able to get you one ; 
for our company is sadly in want of a novelty." 

Needs must when the devil drives ; so, dismissing all 
further solicitude from my mind, I allowed my friend to 
discharge the entire reckoning ; which novel task per- 
formed, we set forward on our journey, under the refresh- 
ing influence of a slow drizzle, which threatened to keep us 
company the whole way to Mollymoreen. 



Contrary, I believe, to nine out of ten theatrical as- 
pirants, I commenced my campaign under very flattering 
auspices. Thanks to the dramatic predilections of Doctor 
Killquick, and the licence allowed mo in my studies by 
Father O'Flannaghan, I had been in the habit, during my 
unbewhiskered juvenility, of devouring a vast variety of 
plays ; so that when I entered on my stage career, what 
with these and the additional advantages of a few pre- 
liminary lessons from my new acquaintance, it was not 
altogether a novelty to me. 


My first appearance was in Romeo. The citizens of 
Mollymoreen are a remarkably discriminating race, for 
they at once perceived my worth ; and the editor of the 
leading journal there, in his theatrical critique, published 
the day after my d6but, piit forth the following striking 
and pertinent remarks : — " Last night, a Mr. Terence 
Felix O' Blarney made his first appearance here as Romeo, 
in the immortal bard's Avell-known play of that name. 
Barring a slight brogue, this young aspirant possesses 
every qualification for the part. He has excellent lungs ; 
is exceedingly vigorous in his movements ; and stands 
nearly, if not quite, six feet in his shoes. His dress was 
singularly picturesque, and he was received with enthu- 
siasm by a most respectable and fashionable audience. 
We understand he appears to-morrow night as Harlequin. 
Judging from his Romeo, we should conceive he would 
play this very difficult part to admiration. Both charac- 
ters have many points in common ; both are young, 
active, in love, and fond of leaping, and condemned by 
unpropitious destiny to experience the most startling vicis- 
situdes. We wish Mr. O'Blarney all the success that his 
genius so richly merits." 

This able criticism brought me into instant notice at 
Mollymoreen. Indeed, such and so sudden was my repu- 
tation among them, that before my first month had ex- 
pired, I was promoted on the manager's books from 15s. 
to £1 5s. per week, with the offer of a free benefit at the 
close of the season. 

My second and third appearances were as Hamlet and 
Harlequin, both which trying characters I personated 
the same evening. Public opinion was seriously divided 
on this occasion. The more intellectual among the com- 
munity preferred my Hamlet ; the more mercurial, my 
Harlequin. If, on so delicate a topic, it may be permitted 
me to volunteer an opinion, I should say that my Hamlet 
was the triumph of mind, my Harlequin of muscle. I 
state this with the less hesitation, because the world long 
entertained a notion that I myself gave the preference to 


my Harlequin ; whereas it was ever my fixed opinion that 
no parallel could possibly be instituted between the two 
characters. As well might the fervent passion of a 
Shakspeare be compared to the sparkling vivacity of a 

In consequence of my flattering reception at Molly- 
moreen, I was invited to play the leading parts at every 
theatre and barn in that civilised quarter of Ireland. 
This desultory mode of life introduced me to many odd 
characters, and engaged me in many odd adventures, 
some of a tragic, others of a comic character. One in 
particular, of the latter class, I well recollect, as it took 
place under circumstances of marked singularity. 

The manager had announced for representation a melo- 
drame, in which, among other attractions, was to be 
introduced a view of the Lakes of Killarney, painted 
expressly for the occasion. The announcement took pro- 
digiously, and on the appointed night the barn was 
crowded to suffocation. So far, all was well ; but, un- 
luckily, just at the moment when we were preparing to 
draw up the curtain, we discovered that our scene-painter, 
in revenge for some real or fancied affront offered him by 
the manager, had inoculated the entire landscape with 
charcoal ; and, not content with this lively sample of 
independence, had actually eloped, and, accompanied by 
the treasurer, carried off with him the night's proceeds. 

Here was a dilemma ! What, in Heaven's name, was 
to be clone 1 This question we kept perpetually asking 
each other ; but, alas ! not one of lis all could answer it. 

Meantime the audience became clamorous for the cur- 
tain to draw up. Oaths, squalls, shouts of laughter, and 
threats of vengeance pealed in all directions, and even the 
orchestra — notwithstanding it consisted of two cracked 
fiddles and a hurdy-gurdy — failed to allay the storm. 

In this predicament, our manager proposed an appeal 
<?o the audience. But here, again, a difficulty presented 
xtself. Who was to be the spokesman 1 Each declined 
the honour in. favour of the other, until at length — no 


better scheme presenting itself — it was resolved, nem. con., 
that we should all of us attempt our escape out of a window 
at the rear of the stage. 

The manager was the first to make the experiment, and 
being of a thin, spare habit, succeeded to his heart's con- 
tent. The rest followed in rotation, until it came to the 
manager's wife's turn, who was an immensely fat woman, 
with a singular exuberance of bustle, and consequently 
stuck fast in the window, with her neck and shoulders 
out, but the rest of her person hanging suspended over 
the stage. In this grotesque position, she kicked, shoved, 
and strove to wriggle herself through the aperture : but 
in vain — her obesity put a veto on all hopes of emancipa- 
tion. I think I never saw a tighter fit ! 

At this critical juncture I was the only one left upon 
the stage. There was evidently no chance of escape ; so, 
as a last resource — for the audience had by this time 
become furious — I summoned the orchestra, bade them 
strike up " St. Patrick's Day," and then, slowly drawing 
aside the curtain, advanced in front of the stage, made a 
profound obeisance, and, pointing to the fat dame who 
hung wriggling from the window, exclaimed aloud, " Ladies 
and gentlemen, behold a view of the Lakes of Killarney ! " 

Whether the likeness struck them or not, I cannot 
say ; but never was any appeal more successful. The 
audience literally shouted with laughter, nor w; s peace 
restored till they had testified the excess of their satisfac- 
tion by a general fight, in the bustle of which I effected 
my escape. How the manager's wife effected hers, I know 
not — possibly she is sticking in the window to this hour. 

For nearly two seasons I continued in Molly moreen, 
the delight of all eyes. My portrait, or something like a 
portrait, was exhibited at every print-shop ; my witticisms 
repeated at every table ; my attitudes were the envv of 
the men, my countenance the admiration of the women. 

Among the number of those to whom my convivial 
abilities especially recommended themselves was a rich, 
retired old hunks of a tradesman, 1>y name O'Brien. This 


man had a niece, who, though perhaps not much of a 
beauty, and still less of a chicken in point of age, inas- 
much as she was full four years my senior, was yet — a 
circumstance of first-rate moment to one of my way of 
thinking — the acknowledged heiress of all her uncle's 

It was chiefly through this lady's manoeuvres that I 
first got a footing in the old man's house ; for she had seen 
me in most of my favourite characters, and, being smitten 
with the faculties of the actor, was prepared by a natural 
transition to extend her predilection to the man. 

When a woman is once determined on a point, there is 
little doubt that she will in the long run accomplish it. 
Convinced that I was the only man who would, could, 
should, or ought to make her happy, Catharine soon 
contrived to give me a hint of the nature of her feelings 
towards me. In vain did her uncle, who found means to 
gain possession of her secret, protest, intreat, threaten; 
in vain forbid me his house ; in vain talk of disinheriting 
his niece ; in vain point out to her the madness of marry- 
ing a fellow whose sole stock in trade was his assurance ; 
— the young lady's spirit was up, and she vowed, with a 
saucy toss of the head, that she would marry the man of 
her choice, and him alone. 

I, of course, reciprocated these sentiments, but frequent 
and various were the hazards I encountered in my efforts 
to impress them on the heart of Catharine. Once, while 
waiting for her at midnight by the garden-gate, I was 
mistaken by her uncle for a robber, and very nearly 
brought down at a long shot ; on another occasion, I was 
saluted with the contents of a slop-pail from a garret- 
window ; and in a third instance, I was kept cooling my 
heels a full hour beneath the moonlight, till my teeth 
chattered like a pair of castanets. Making love by mid- 
night, when the thermometer is below zero, is harder work 
than most people seem to have any idea of. 

But perseverance does wonders, and by the assistance 
of the friend who had first introduced me to the stage, I 


contrived to obtain — first one secret interview — then a 
second — then a third — then a fourth, fifth, and sixth — 
until at length it became but too clear that nothing was 
left but an elopement. 

Mr. O'Brien was panic-stricken when the intelligence 
of this impending event first reached his ears. By way of 
preventive he had instant recourse to locks, bolts, and 
bars ; but finding that even these expedients failed, he 
made a virtue of necessity, and finally consented to our 



Within a week from the day when the nuptial-knot 
was tied, Mrs. O'Blarney and myself started off for the 
Continent. Old O'Brien, who, notwithstanding his mu- 
nificence to Catharine, was very contracted and trades- 
man-like in his notions, was almost paralysed at the 
grandeur of our intentions, and would fain have kept us 
under his own eye in Ireland ; but the lady was bent on 
seeing the world, and would listen neither to advice nor 

Our first stay of any duration was in Paris. I had 
long heard that this city was famous for the Fine Arts, 
and truly I never met with such finished specimens of 
cookery. As for my wife, she was in ecstacies. Paris was 
ior a time her El Dorado — her fairy-land. 

After a stay just long enough to beget ennui, we quitted 
the French capital for Frankfort, whence we made a hasty 
tour through some of the minor German principalities. 
The magnificence of a few of these quite astounded me. 
Think of his Serene Highness the Prince of Saxe Schweig- 
hausen, with upwards of sixty quarterings on his arms, 
being absolute lord and master of a territory containing 
nearly ten thousand inhabitants, yielding a clear revenue 
of almost nine hundred pound* rer aanvim, and supporting 


an army of some twelve dozen private soldiers, exclusive 
of six field-officers, and a band worthy to vie witli the 
orchestra of one of our minor theatres. 

To this most puissant sovereign I had the honour of 
being publicly presented at court. To be sure, the exhi- 
bition cost me half-a-crown in fees. But what of that 1 
Royalty is not, like Punch, an every-day show. Besides, 
his Highness was, without exception, the fattest man I 
had ever seen, and in England it would have cost me a 
shilling to see a prize ox. 

"We found the metropolis of this mighty monarch's 
kingdom in a grievous state of excitement. An Italian 
singer — at that time quite the rage on the Continent — 
had engaged to give a series of vocal performances at 
Schweighausen, but, just at the very moment when the 
royal family and noblesse were all anxious expectation, 
the fair cantatrice split upon terms, and declared off. 
Here was a shock to the grand monarquef Never had 
such an affront been put upon himself or his principality! 
It became quite a national affair. A cabinet council was 
instantly summoned, which, after some hours' deliberation, 
despatched a courier, with sealed despatches, to the con- 
tumelious vocalist ; while, from the hurryings to and fro 
of the dames of honour, and the grave, mysterious looks 
of the courtiers, you would have sworn a revolution was 
impending. How the affair ended I know not, as I did 
not stay to see; but I heard, subsequently, that the 
cabinet, deeming it beneath the national dignity to rein- 
force the army and proclaim war against a woman, wisely 
came to her terms, which were so exorbitant that they 
crippled the exchequer for months afterward. 

From Schweighausen, we ascended the Rhine, where, 
for the first and last time in my life, I witnessed the per- 
fection of river-scenery. I have no very acute apprehen- 
sion of the picturesque ; but I shall never forget this 
voyage. Imagine a stream, now expanding into a lake, 
and now contracting into a canal, with a thousand laugh- 
ing rivulets leaping into it on either side, as if delighted 


to enhance its beauty and share in its renown — now dark 
with the shadows of overhanging cliffs, and now reflecting 
images of sunny pastoral loveliness — here, a grey solitary 
fragment of a castle, still breathing the spirit of its old 
grandeur, starting up like a spectre before your eyes ; and 
there, a graceful modern chateau, apt haunt of love and 
beauty — in one place a luxuriant slope flush of vineyards, 
and crowned with romantic terraces ; in another, a village 
hanging, as it were, self-poised in air, above the regions 
of the clouds, while, ever as the magic stream wafts you 
onward, island, mountain, city, town, and monastery, 
appear and disappear like dreams ! Oh ! never was so 
unequalled an assemblage of all that is sublime and beau- 
tiful in nature or art. Well may the Germans be proud 
of their legendary river. A fairer stream never graced 
the plains of Arcadia, or wandered through the groves of 

Our next visit was to Switzerland. My wife's romance 
was here more on the alert than even on the waters of 
the Rhine. We peeped at a glacier — explored a waterfall 
— climbed half an Alp or so — and stared at Mont Blanc 
through an opera-glass. One day while, for want of some- 
thing better to do, we were floating lazily over the un- 
wrinkled bosom of the Leman, we came alongside a slim 
young Englishman, of a sallow, romantic cast of counte- 
nance, who was fast asleep in his boat, close under the 
immortal rocks of Meillerie. Just as our vessel passed, 
a book dropped from his hand into the water. We took 
it up. It was Rousseau's " Eloise !" Enviable enthusiasm ! 

Having gazed our fill on the Helvetian rocks, lakes, 
and mountains, we once more set out on our wanderings, 
and, in the course of a reasonable period, with a facility 
quite humiliating to all amateurs of the wild and the 
wonderful, arrived in safety at Naples. 

Of all the continental cities, commend me to this. It 
is the Eden of Ausonia — an enchanted region, where all 
is song and sunshine, love, romance, and festivity. Still, 
oven here, one thing is wanting to complete felicity ; and 


this one want I but too soon began to experience. What 
with our visits to Paris, Frankfort, Switzerland, and the 
other ei ceteras incidental to such an expensive and desul- 
tory mode of life, I found, after a fortnight's residence on 
the Strada Ohiaja, that my wife's fortune was daily oozing 
out of my possession ; so, in order to supply the deficiency, 
I was compelled to have recourse to gaming. 

For a long time I concealed this propensity from Mrs. 
O'Blarney. But what can escape the lynx eye of curi- 
osity 1 It so happened that she was one day smitten with 
a sudden fancy to make a purchase of some tempting 
bijouterie; when, on applying to me, she found that I 
was wholly unable to accommodate her. 

In the course of the evening a mutual explanation took 
place, when I candidly told Catharine that, unless she 
assigned over to me the annuity which the suspicions of 
her uncle had settled on her, I should infallibly become 
a ruined man. To my astonishment she refused, adding 
that in future nothing should prevent her doing that 
justice to herself which I had so scandalously neglected. 
The remark was cutting, and, under the circumstances, 
ungenerous • though its severity was somewhat blunted 
by the promise which my wife shortly after made me, of 
writing to Mr. O'Brien a statement of our embarrassments, 
with a request that he would render us prompt pecuniary 
assistance. To this note I attached a postscript, inclosing 
a Neapolitan physician's receipt for the gout. 

By the earliest post — for the old man prided himself 
on his punctuality — an answer was returned to our appli- 
cation. But, alas ! its import was anything but flatter- 
ing. The writer began by observing that he could not 
think of advancing money to people so little acquainted 
with its value ; that he had always anticipated this would 
be the result of Catharine's ill-advised marriage, which 
she might do him the justice to remember he had reso- 
lutely opposed from the first ; that he thought, under the 
circumstances, the best thing we could both do would be 
to retrench our household expenditure, and, in the bosom 


of a strict and cheap seclusion, strive to regain that com- 
posure of which, it was but too evident, we both stood in 
need. The letter concluded by thanking me for my 
receipt for the gout, which, however, the churlish old 
fox asserted, whether intended to do so or not, had made 
him infinitely worse than he was before he had recourse 
to it. 

This reply decided my fate. Poverty having come in 
at the door, timid Love, as a matter of course, was pre- 
pared to make his exit by the window. Henceforth I 
met with nothing but reproaches from my wife. For 
some weeks, however, I bore her altered conduct with 
submissiveness. When I espied a frown on her brow, I 
strove with words of endearment to avert the thunder- 
cloud ; I reminded her of the days of our courtship, when 
she was my Juliet and I was her Romeo ; but, alas ! at 
the verv moment when her heart was softenine;, the 
slightest allusion to the annuity would bring back all her 
unpoetic notions of self-interest. 

Day by clay, hour by hour, Mrs. O'Blarney's ill-humour 
increased. If one moment she was comparatively serene, 
the next she blew a hurricane. Having been a spoiled 
child from her very cradle, she had little or no command 
of her temper. To soften her was difficult — to subdue, 
impossible. As well muht I have attempted to check 
Niagara with a bulrush. 

Such was my domestic position, when one disastrous 
evening, after I had earnestly siipplicated my wife to 
accommodate me, if only by way of loan, with the usual 
half-yearly allowance which she had just received from 
her uncle, in order that I might disembairass myself of 
certain pecuniary obligations, and be enabled to turn 
over a new leaf, the impetuous lady not only refused my 
petition, but pointed her refusal by some scornful allusions 
to what she called my general profligacy. 

Stung to the quick by her manner, I threatened to 
take leave of her for ever ; on which she replied — 

" Oh, do pray go ! I desire nothing better ; the very 


sight of you is odious to me. Would to Heaven I had 
never met with such a monster !" 

" Monster, forsooth ! you must have been looking in 
your glass lately, my dear, which has made the monstrous 
familiar to you." 

The cool way in which I said this had quite an elec- 
trical effect on my wife, who forthwith proceeded to- pour 
on me such a torrent of abuse that at last my patience 
wholly gave way, and, springing down stairs, I was out 
of sight in an instant. 

On reaching the street, I kept wandering up and down, 
cursing my evil destiny, and endeavouring to shape out 
some plans for the future, till, finding that I could settle 
down to nothing, I dismissed all further reflection, and 
bent my steps towards one of the public cafes. 

Here I remained for upwards of half an hour, and, by 
way of calming down my ruined spirits, swallowed bumper 
after bumper of the very headiest wine I could lay my 
hands on. With a brain thus heated by excitement, and, 
of course, craving still further stimulus, I strolled into 
the San Carlos, where, after looking about me for some 
time, and being challenged to try my luck at a game 
of hazard, I threw down a piece of gold — was success- 
ful — threw down a second, a third — then trebled and 
quadrupled my stakes, till at length, after an hour's play, 
without the slightest effort of skill, I came away the 
winner of upwards of a hundred pounds. 

Such a run of good luck completely upset what little 
judgment I ever possessed. T felt my heart warm again 
to my wife ; and, immediately on quitting the gaming- 
table, flew homeward, fully resolved, in the wild glee of 
the moment, to make her the amende honorable, though 
I must confess, at the same time, that I was in that 
feverish, unsettled state of mind when a sneer, or even a 
frown, is sufficient to turn the scale, and upset all one's 
best resolutions. 

" So you have come back !" said my wife, misconstruing 
the motives of my return ; " and in a pretty condition 


you have returned !" for my flushed countenance was too 
marked to escape her notice. 

"For God's sake, Catharine, be quiet, or else — '' 

" Don't think to frighten me, sir ; I care nothing for 
the threats of a man I despise. You have insulted me 
too grossly to be forgiven, and now, by way of atonement, 
you come back in a state of intoxication. Shame on you ! 
I wonder you can dare to look mo in the face !" 

" Catharine," said I, with an effort at calmness, " listen 
to me, and for the last time. I have come back, believe 
me or not, as you please, solely for the purpose of making 
reparation for — " 

" Reparation ! Is it by your drunkenness you hope to 
make reparation ?" 

" Perhaps so, perhaps not. However, be this as it may, 
my return is now prompted by the best of motives." 

" Oh, yes," replied my wife, with a sneer, " I know the 
motives well. I can see through them, sir." 

" Hear me out !" said I, in a voice of thunder. 

" I won't." 

" Insulting termagant !" 

" Drunken brute !" 

" Spiteful, unforgiving old — " 

The word " old " touched my wife in the sorest point. 
" Spiteful " she might have passed over ; " unforgiving " 
she might have smiled at ; but "old" — there was too much 
truth in the phrase to be readily digested ; so, despairing 
in the frenzy of the moment of finding words adequate 
to her feelings, she actually flew for assistance to the foot- 
stool — discharged it without ceremony at my head — and 
then, as I rushed a second time from the house, flew after 
me, crying at the very top of her voice, "Aye, go ! do go ! 
I dare you to go ! Brute ! monster ! barbarian ! Old 
indeed !" 

This last insult was not to be borne ; and when I re- 
flected on the motives that had drawn me home a^ain — 
that I had sought my wife in a frank, conciliatory spirit, 
and, instead of being met by answering courtesy, had been 


treated worse than a dog — I became (an unusual thing 
with me) quite beside myself with passion, and before I 
was well aware of my proximity found myself standing 
close beside the quay. 

Night was now drawing on, and it so happened that a 
felucca, taking advantage of a favouring wind, was just 
about to set sail for Marseilles. The opportunity was 
irresistible. Judgment, discretion, principle — all, all 
obeyed the headlong impulse of the moment ; and with 
my wife's taunts still ringing in my ears, the footstool still 
whistling about my head, and a busy devil at my elbow 
goading me on to ruin, I sought out the captain of the 
vessel — caught him just as he was stepping into a boat, 
and concluded with him for a conveyance to Marseilles. 

An instant after, and I was on board. The signal was 
made for sailing ; the vessel shot merrily through the 
waters, and I was far advanced on my voyage across the 
bay ere I called to mind my deserted wife ! Infatuated 
man ! But remorse was then of no avail. It was too 
late to return. Besides, had it even been possible, I felt 
convinced I could never have mustered assurance enough 
again to face the woman whom I could not but feel I had 
wronged. My very modesty rose in arms against me. 
Et tu Brute ! 

After a brief voyage the felucca reached Marseilles, 
where I waited just one day to make some necessary pur- 
chases, and then set off for England. 



Behold me now in London — in that Titanic metro- 
polis which is the envy and wonder of Europe ; the 
heavings of whose mighty heart thrill to the uttermost 
regions of earth ; whoso merchant-Hag is familiar with 
every wave, and streams in every port ; which is the prolific 


foster- parent of all arts, all professions, and all trades; 
encouraging alike the adept and the quack, the honest man 
and the knave, and combining exhaustless wealth with 
abject penury, the most refined civilisation with the gross- 
est barbarism — behold me in this paradox of a metropolis, 
placed in the very thick of its crowd, yet oppressed with 
feelings of the most forlorn solitude. Oh, there is no 
sense of desolation so complete as that experienced by a 
friendless stranger on his first introduction to London ! 
Talk of an Arabian desert ! It is smiling, animated, 
encouraging, in comparison. 

To meet a frown on every brow, a sneer on every lip ; 
to be distrusted as an adventurer, and with the purest 
intentions to be perpetually misconstrued ; to supplicate 
where there are few or none to pity ; to die of a broken 
heart in the midst of rejoicing, of famine in the midst of 
plenty ; and then, as if the cup of wretchedness were not 
drained to the dregs, to be carried out of a workhouse on 
four rough boards, flung like a dog into his hole, with just 
a prayer or two mumbled coldly and hurriedly above one's 
remains, as if they were scarce worth salvation : this it 
is to be poor and friendless in London. 

To be the idol of every circle ; to drivel like a fool, yet 
to be pronounced a sage ; to be " a gentleman," when it is 
manifest you are his antipodes ; to see woman's eye light 
up at your approach, and the fat porter at the great man's 
gate bustle forward at the hazard of his neck to usher you 
into the great man's presence; to be the "Sir Oracle" of 
ton, and the hero of a fashionable novel ; to be painted by 
Lawrence, and engraved by Finden; and when put to 
death by a licensed physician, to be followed to your 
long home by some dozen agonised acquaintances, while 
the parson prays his best above your gilt coffin, and a 
splendid mausoleum records your worth to all posterity : 
this it is to be wealthy and well connected in London. 

O London ! thou art the rich man's heaven, but the 
poor man's hell ! 

London ! which art the cradle and the grave of hope, 


how many aspiring pilgrims, some destined to achieve 
celebrity, but more to die neglected and broken-hearted, 
are at this moment, while I write, bending their steps 
towards thee ! What acts, too, of folly, madness, and guilt, 
are at the same instant of time in course of preparation 
within thy circuit ! Yet, if sin profane thy name, the 
virtues, sure, redeem it by their presence. Lo ! thou canst 
boast humility in lawn sleeves ; meek charity making 
public announcement of her benefactions ; modesty gazing 
at some half-denuded dancer through an opera-glass; and 
patriotism defending the pension-list from a back seat on 
the treasury-bench ! 

O London ! who can listen to thy eternal whirl and 
roar — who can gaze on thy palaces, thy temples, thy 
solemn grey cathedrals, or pause on the stately fabrics 
that span thy famous stream, scarce seen for the forests of 
masts which crowd and blacken above its bosom to an 
extent no eye can traverse — who can pace the wondrous 
range of thy streets and squares, stretching away, as if to 
infinity, in showy splendour or sombre grandeur — who can 
" read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest" all this, and not 
feel every petty personal consciousness of self swallowed 
up in an overpowering sense of astonishment and admi- 
ration ! 

Yet, O vain, ambitious, paradoxical London, lay not the 
nattering unction to thy soul, that because thou art great, 
thou art necessarily immortal. Already the seeds of decay 
are at thy heart. Thou art dying by inches of a plethora. 
Thou art swollen and bloated with a dropsy, though thy 
massive shoulders and wondrous breadth of chest might 
seem to promise a lengthened life. Dream not, then, of im- 
mortality, but fall to thy studies, and learn wisdom from 
the past. Think of Rome, now the " Niobe of nations," but 
once queen-regent of the universe ! What she is, thou 
must one day be. The time shall come when thy gorgeoua 
edifices shall fall, like hers, in ruins to earth ; when the 
grass shall grow in thy streets ; when the owl shall hoot 
from thy roofless palaces, and the adder crawl into sun- 


shine from among thy mouldering fanes ; when Silence 
and Solitude, twin mourners, shall sit with folded arms 
and weeping eyes beside thy grave ; and the pilgrim from 
some far-off land, as he wanders through a scene of deso 
lation, shall say, "And was this London 1" 

I have given thee good advice, London, scarce hoping 
that thou wilt follow it ; and thus having discharged my 
duty as a patriot and a moralist, I descend from my stilts 
and resume the language of common life. 



The first few mornings after my arrival were spent in 
a survey of the various public buildings in and about the 
metropolis — I remember in particular being much struck 
with Newgate — while my evenings were devoted to the 
theatres, and wound up by a social glass at one or other 
of the taverns in which the vestal vicinity of Covent 
Garden abounds. 

With respect to a profession, my first serious views were 
of course directed to the stage, and accordingly, when I 
had devoted quite sufficient time to the gentleman-like 
occupation of doing nothing, I presented myself early one 
morning at the stage-door of Drury Lane Theatre ; inquired 
of a servant in attendance whether the great lessee were 
within ; and if so, whether he could honour me with an 

The man glanced at the modest, humble expression of 
my countenance; I understood the hint, and knew the 
manager was out. 

The next day I called and met with the like success — 
the great man was busy, and could not be disturbed. The 
third day he was at rehearsal ; the fourth, he was reading 
a new piece in the green-room ; the fifth, he was nego- 
tiating an amicable arrangement with the hind-legs of an 


elephant, both of which Lad struck for an advance 
of wages ; but on the sixth, as he had only two small 
melodramatists with him, he condescended to favour ma 
with an audience. 

On entering his august presence, I opened the proceed- 
ings by a few brief allusions to my astonishing success in 
Ireland, but saw at once, from the expression of his face, 
and the shrug of his broad, fat shoulders, that I had not 
the slightest chance. Indeed he hinted as much before I 
had well finished my exordium, and then, starting off from 
the subject, began to bewail his hard fate in being com- 
pelled to sacrifice health, time, and inclination on the 
altar of public interest ; spoke of the important calls on 
his attention that daily beset him, from individuals of 
the highest rank and influence in the kingdom, and that, 
consequently, I might deem myself fortunate in the oppor- 
tunity of seeing him but for ten minutes ; rang the bell, 
and brought round him a whole host of theatrical sub- 
alterns, to each of whom he issued his mandates, with all 
the air of a despot ; and then cast a sidelong glance at 
me, to see whether I were duly impressed with a sense of 
his temporal grandeur. 

But I neither fainted nor went off in hysterics, but, 
perfectly unruffled, as though I were talking to a mere unit 
like myself, said, " I presume, then, sir, you decline my 
services f 

" Unquestionably, my good fellow ;" then, as if he had 
committed himself by too much familiarity, he added, 
with a formal bend of the head, " You may retire, young 
man ; we have business of importance to transact with 
our worthy friends here just now." And so ended my 
first and last interview with the manager of a London 
theatre ! 

My next speculation was in periodical literature. But 
here, too, I was as unsuccessful as with the stage. All the 
editors of all the current magazines seemed to have con- 
spired to drive me frantic with disappointment. Grave 
as well as gay, prose as well as verse, every tale, essay, 


criticism, and epigram I contributed, met with, precisely 
the same treatment. This, hov/ever, was to have been 
expected, for what author who dates from a first-floor 
front, with a French dancing-master constantly practising 
on a violin over his head, and a great healthy vagabond 
crying "Sprats !" every hour of the day under his window, 
can hope to write anything worth reading 1 

Luckily, about this time I was in the frequent habit of 

meeting with the late Colonel , at a tavern in the 

neighbourhood of Covent Garden. This well-known old 
"roue, whose brain was a perfect granary of fashionable 
anecdote, and who had been closely connected with royalty 
in its most convivial and confidential moments, was never 
so happy, or so much in his element, as when he could 
procure a respectful listener ; and as I suited him admira- 
bly in this respect — never yawning, never looking incre- 
dulous, and, above all, never laughing in the wrong place 
— he took a prodigious fancy to me, and entertained me 
with lots of sly, quaint, piquant anecdotes, in which I 
could not but fancy I jDerceived the germs of more than 
one fashionable novel. 

Following up this bright idea, I took care to glean all 
the various stores of gossip the old man possessed ; after 
which I proceeded to clothe them from the wardrobe of 
my own invention; super-added a plot full of delicate 
entanglements ; an impassioned love-intrigue or two ; an 
"intensely" interesting heroine, who, like the Paphian 
Venus, wore her zone loosened ; and a brisk Bond-street 
Adonis, more accomplished than a Crichton, but more pro- 
fligate than a Rochester. This done, behold — a fashion- 
able novel ! 

So far, so good. My next endeavour was to secure the 
assistance of some stirring, influential publisher. In this 
I succeeded beyond my hopes (chiefly in consequence of 
my Carlton House anecdotage) ; and, in the course of a 
few weeks, had the satisfaction of seeing my "Bon Ton" 
duly advertised among the forthcoming novelties of the 
season, as "A tale of real life, by an author of the highest 


No sooner had the work appeared than public atten- 
tion was still further attracted towards it, by a series 
of mysterious paragraphs in the papers, indirectly 
ascribing it to the eloquent and sprightly pen of his 

Hoyal Highness the Duke of ; and, that nothing 

might be wanting to confirm its celebrity, a fresh string 
of advertisements was issued, with the following extracts 
from the literary journals of the day attached to them by 
way of rider : — 

"Bon Ton" is a tale of first-rate ability; the author is the Scott of 
fashionable life. — London Museum. 

A riost talented tale, full of point, wit, and sarcasm. The writer forcibly 
reminds us of Sheridan. — Weekly Lit. Miscellany. 

We have been favoured with an early copy of this work (which is yet un- 
published), and may conscientiously say of the author that he is quite a prose 
Byron. — Town and Country Magazine. 

Transcendent ! astonishing ! superlative ! — Star. 

It is truly refreshing, in this age of cant and humbug, to meet with a 
novel like " Bon Ton," penned in the good old spirit of Smollett and Eielding. 
— WeeMy Repository. 

The puns of this exceedingly facetious novelist are worthy of Mr. Rogers, 
the eminent banker.— John Bull. 

From these discriminating criticisms, it will naturally 
be concluded that "Bon Ton" created quite a sensation 
in the world of fashion and literature. But no, nothing 
of the sort. Notwithstanding I attired my hero in laven- 
der-coloured slippers ; made him sarcastic on port wine j 
intolerant of those abandoned miscreants who eat fish 
with a knife and fork; learned on all gastronomic matters; 
and profoundly ignorant of the locality of Russell-square 
— notwithstanding all this, " Bon Ton " feP as stillborn 
from the press as if no royal duke had been coniectured 
to be its author ! 

Having thus failed in fact, I thought — for the cacoethes 
scribendi was still strong on me — I would next have re- 
course to fiction. Nothing venture, nothing gain ; so I 
set about a History of Italy, with which my residence at 
Naples had of course made me familiarly acquainted. 
Strange to tell, my book, even though filled with elaborate 
descriptions of Borne — a city which nothing but an acci- 


dent prevented me from visiting, met with as discouraging 
a reception as " Bon Ton " — nay, T may even add, a worse, 
for on bargaining for a portmanteau a few months afterward 
in Long Acre, I found it lined with one of my most im- 
passioned apostrophes to the glory of ancient Rome ! 

This was vexatious, but it was not my only grievance. 
Misfortunes never drizzle upon a man's head. They 
always pour down on him in torrents. The landlady — 

O sound of fear ! 
TJnpleasing to an author's ear— 

at whose house I boarded, having long suspected my con- 
dition, now began to look after me with that restless 
curiosity which a discreet father exhibits towards an only 
son who has evinced a predilection for the sea. At first 
the good dame's inquisitiveness was confined within the 
pale of politeness ; but at length, as my arrears with her 
increased, she exchanged the oblique glance for the direct 
frown, and daily vented her spleen in coarse allusions to 
my appetite. 

My situation was now become really critical. My 
money was nearly all expended, and my entire wardrobe 
was on my back. This last was the " unkindest cut of 
all," for any one acquainted with London life knows that 
a good coat is half the secret of success. Boys dress well 
from vanity ; men from policy. 

Such was my condition, when one clay, while seated at 
a coffee-shop, 1 chanced to read in the Times journal some 
proposals for the establishment of a new literary institu- 
tion in the metropolis. Quick as lightning the idea 
crossed my brain that I might possibly obtain one of the 
lectureships ; so, without a moment's delay, I despatched 
a long, elaborate letter to Brougham, who was mentioned 
as being one of the warmest patrons of the institution, 
in which, after enumerating my intellectual qualifications, 
I proposed myself as a lecturer on whatever branch of 
lnrowledge he might feel inclined to suggest. I added 
that, though I did not object to teach mathematics, meta- 


physics, chemistry, moral philosophy, jurisprudence, the 
fine arts, elocution, music, or even dancing, yet that my 
researches lay chiefly in the Belles Lettres. 

Within the week I received an answer to this applica- 
tion, in which, after complimenting me in the most flat- 
tering terms on my modesty, the illustrious statesmau 
declined my services, on the very natural plea that they 
would excite universal envy. 

Well, this avenue to fortune closed, a variety of others 
suggested themselves. First I thought of a merchant's 
counting-house ; but this idea was no sooner suggested 
than it was laid aside, for where and how was I to pro- 
care the requisite certificate of character, ability, and so 

Next I bethought me of the law. This, while it lasted, 
was an agreeable illusion enough, naught with imposing 
images of the bench, the woolsack, and the king's con- 
science. But when I came to look at the question in a 
worldly, common-sense spirit, more especially when I re- 
flected that without impudence a lawyer is as sounding 
brass or a tinkling cymbal, I felt with a sigh that the 
defects of nature were insuperable. 

At last a grand idea struck me. I resolved to try the 
press. I had often heard and read of those sprightly 
adventurers who contrive to earn a subsistence by picking 
up, or, in case of need, inventing accidents, &c, for the 
newspapers ; so I presented myself at a dull period at the 
Planet newspaper office, with an affecting report of a young 
lady who had swallowed a teacupful of arsenic and water, 
under the influence of derangement brought on by the 
"diabolical" conduct of a young Guardsman who had 
seduced her. 

This paragraph being well timed, was much approved ; 
became the subject of an indignant leading article in 
many of the ensuing Sunday journals, " on the demoralised 
condition of the higher classes," and went the round of 
the provincial press under the title of " Shocking Suicide." 

My next literary perpetration was a Hatton-garden 


police report, wherein I detailed the particulars of a pugi- 
listic encounter between two Irish hodmen in a style of 
the most rampant vivacity. About this time, too, I con- 
tributed about a foot and a half of good jokes weekly to 
the Looker-on, for which the editor, who was himself a 
wag of the first water, and liked, as he said, to encourage 
genius, remunerated me at a very handsome rate. But 
my chief reliance was on the Planet newspaper, on which, 
by adroit flattery of the proprietor — an odd little fellow, 
with a style of writing " peculiarly his own " — I contrived 
to gain so strong a hold, that after a month's probation, I 
was declared to be master of my business, and placed on 
the establishment as a sort of flying reporter of all work. 

In this capacity I exhibited powers of invention that 
would have done honour to a Scotch novelist. Scarcely a 
day passed but a Mrs. Tomkins and her only daughter fell 
from a one-horse chaise in Tavistock or Brunswick squares ; 
or a Mr. Sibthorpe, a stout gentleman of sixty, with a 
wig and six children, broke his leg by stumbling over a 
bit of orange-peel which some urchin had inconsiderately 
flung upon the pavement. My phenomena were equally 
creditable to my fancy. The Planet abounded in accounts 
of extraordinary gooseberries, which measured four inches 
round the waist ; of Irish potatoes, on which could be 
clearly traced the words " Daniel O'Connell ;" of three 
children born impromptu at a birth ; of goats without 
beards ; cows with five legs ; and donkeys with horns like 
my Lord . 

Not unf requently, when " extra hands " were wanted, I 
made my appearance in the gallery in the House of Com- 
mons — infinitely to the annoyance of the practised and 
well-educated gentlemen who attended there — not one of 
whom, however, came near me, whether in eloquence of 
style, originality of metaphor, or vivacity of logic. They 
stuck to fact, I expatiated in the airy regions of fiction. 

But ingratitude is the vice of public men in England. 
I had actually not distinguished myself above a dozen 
times in the gallery, when I was summoned to the bar, 


for a breach of privilege contained in a report of one of 
Sir William Wiseacre's orations : reprimanded by the 
Speaker in a style that brought the blood of a hundred 
ancestors into my cheeks ; and then formally dismissed 
from the Planet establishment. In justification of his com- 
plaint, Sir William urged that he was not in the House 
at the time I attributed to him the speech in question, 
and that nothing but the unparalleled impudence of the 
forgery should have — But I need say no more. Men of 
bashful temperament "will at once appreciate the motives 
for my silence. 

I should have mentioned, that while engaged on the 
Planet, I had, in order to fill up my leisure time, been 
in the habit of occasionally advertising as a private teacher 
of the classics, arithmetic, &c, to which advertisements 
I had hitherto received no satisfactory replies. It chanced, 
however, that a few days previous to my dismissal from 
the gallery, a letter dated Walworth was brought to me 
by the twopenny post, wherein the writer stated, that 
having seen A. B.'s advertisement, and being in want of 
a tutor for his son, he would feel obliged if said A. B. 
would "step up," when, if terms and so forth were 
approved, the parties might " do business" together. 

The quaint, dry wording of this missive gave me no 
great hopes of success. However, it did not become me 
to be fastidious; so, flinging distrust to the winds, I 
made the best of my way to the place pointed out in the 

The writer, Mr. Stephen Spinks, a cheesemonger, was 
at home when I called, busily engaged with some cus- 
tomers behind the counter. On learning the purport of 
my visit, he made no more ado, but came at once to the 
point with me ; while, at the same time, in order that 
business might not be neglected, he despatched matters 
with his customers. " So, Mr. Yvhat-d'ye-call-um," he 
began, "you're the A. B., I s'pose, as is to teach my Dick 
classics. Clever boy, Dick, sharp as a needle ; htis got 
'Omer at his fingers' ends ; do your heart good to hear 



Mm ;" then turning to his shop-lad, " I say, Jack, why 
don't you serve that 'ere gentleman 1 he's been waiting 
these five minutes.— So, as I was saying, sir, Dick's as 
sharp as — A pound of Stilton, ma'am 1 We never sells 
it by the pound ; very sorry, ma'am, very sorry indeed, 
but 'twouldn't pay. — And so, Mr. What-cl'ye-call-um, you 
see my boy Dick — Jack, I say, Jack, don't forget to send 
them two Cheshires up to Mrs. Jenkins, and, d'ye hear, 
mind and take the bill along with 'cm ; she's one as re- 
quires looking arter. — Excuse my blnntness, Mr. What- 
d'ye-call-um, I'm a plain John Bull. — Heyday, Mrs. Jack- 
son, what, you here too ! Well, and how goes the world 
with you 1 and how's your good man, and how's the little 
tins 1 I'm sorry to say my Polly's ill abed of the measles. 

— Beg your pardon, Mr. , for keeping you waiting ; 

but business must be minded, j-ou know." 

I intreated him not to apologise, as my time was his, 
and then proceeded to seat myself leisurely in a remote 
corner of the shop, while the sly fox kept watching every 
movement of my hands, with the same keenness and per- 
tinacity with which a tom-cat watches a mouse. 

In a few minutes, having got rid of all his customers, 
he whipped off his apron, and led the way into a back 
room, whither I followed. There was no need of cere- 
mony ; we plunged, therefore, without a moment's delay, 
into the thick of the business. I jDroposed my terms ; he 
proposed his : but there being, even on this preliminary 
point, a material pecuniary difference between us. Mr. 
Spinks, moreover, with the wary shrewdness of the trades- 
man, persisting in jDiitting a variety of frivolous and 
vexatious questions to me touching the vouchers I was 
prepared to furnish him with, as to talent, respectability, 
and so forth, I at once broke off the negotiation, and 
stalked from his presence in the same sullen dignity in 
which Ajax turned from Ulysses in the shades. 

I retraced my steps over Waterloo-bridge, towards my 
lodgings, not exactly ecu desespoir, but still in a state of 
mind far from enviable. Absorbed in the reflection that 


I was the helpless victim of ill-luck, I seated myseli' 
moodily on one of the buttresses of the bridge, casting 
ever and anon a glance on the water, much to the horror 
of an old lady who was taking the air on the opposite 
side, and no doubt mistook me for an interesting martyr 
to unrequited love, when suddenly I heard my name pro- 
nounced, and, looking up, saw Patrick Donovan, a brother 
colleague on the Flanet establishment, a smart, active fel- 
low, who had always shown a disposition to cultivate my 

On the present occasion he was all sympathy ; and, as 
we strolled up and down the bridge together, he said, 
"You are unlucky, O'Blarney, but nil desperandum — as 
Ave used to say at Trinity College. What think you of 
editing a Sunday newspaper f 

" I am willing to try my hand at it, provided the 
principles of the journal are such as I can conscientiously 
advocate. " 

'•' Oh, if you come to talk of conscience, I have done 
with you ! Your case is hopeless." 

" Donovan," said I, with solemnity, "would you deprive 
me of the only luxury I have left V 

" Yes, for the very reason that it is a luxury. When 
a gentleman is in difficulties, what are the first things he 
retrenches 1 Why, his luxuries, to be sure. Conscience, 
forsooth ! A pretty wall you are building to knock your 
head against. How can you ever expect to get on with 
such a stumbling-block in your way 1 Pray, get rid of it 
as soon as possible, or assign it over to your tailor or 
attorney; they stand more in need of it than you do." 

" I am convinced ; let me hear your proposals." 

" You must know, then, that, in conjunction with a 
pushing young bookseller, I have just purchased the copy- 
right of the Squib journal ; but, as neither of us has suffi- 
cient leisure to do it justice, we are on the look-out for 
some one who will devote his chief time and attention to 
it. Under these circumstances I offer you the editorship ; 
but, as there is not a moment to be lost, you must decide 
at once," 


" I agree to your proposals." 

" And you will throw overboard all romantic notions of 
— you understand me V 

" Nature will at times prevail ; but I will do my best 
to weed out the delicate infirmity." 

" Spoken like a very Canning ! You shall commence 
operations next week." 

The bargain was accordingly struck, and within a fort- 
night from the period of my dismissal from the Planet 
establishment I was installed editor of a certain flashy, 
sporting Sunday journal, of no great literary or political 
character, I must confess, but which, nevertheless, hap- 
pened to be just then remarkable for its extensive circu- 

This situation necessarily brought me into contact with 
many of the more puffing and mushroom class of book- 
sellers, by whose means I was introduced to divers small 
literary characters, artists, actors, &c; until at length, 
notwithstanding my diffidence, I began to feel that I 
was something more than a mere cipher in the republic 
of letters, 



One day, when I was seated in the editor's room at the 
office, manufacturing a sly, mysterious paragraph respecting 

the elopement of Lady A with a Sir Bore Brocas, a 

note was put into my hands from the bibliopole who was 
Donovan's co-partner in the journal, containing an invita- 
tion to a literary conversazione, a weekly series of which 
he had projected during the publishing season. 

Such a temptation was irresistible ; and at the appointed 
hour I twinkled among other literary luminaries at his 

The room was crowded ; and among the invited was 
Donovan, who, taking compassion on my ignorance of 


persons, volunteered to act as my cicerone. Pointing to 
an ancient gentleman in spectacles, " In early life," said 
lie, "that man had the ill-luck to have his favourite 
tragedy damned before the third act ; since which time 
his sole consolation has consisted in lamenting the decay 
of the dramatic art, and witnessing the first representation 
of every new tragedy, in the hope that it may experience 
the fate of his own." 

"Is that a dramatist, too, by his side V I inquired. 

" Oh, no ; that is a well-known Platonic philosopher, 
who reads Greek as fluently as English ; has translated 
all the sophists, from Plato to Proclus ; insists that the 
dark ages commenced from the death of Iarnblichus ; and 
that the mythology of Greece and Rome is the only true 
religion. He married his cook because her face reminded 
him of Pomona, as depicted on an old medal. But mark 
that tall, spare man, who has just shaken hands with our 

" I see him. Who is he 1 What's his name ?" 

" Dr. Ferdinand Eingerfee, the celebrated quack. His 
system is a peculiar one. He holds that ill-health is 
nothing more than the introduction of mephitic vapours 
through the pores of the skin into the diaphragm, and 
proposes, by a process of tanning, to render the hide air- 
proof. The bills of mortality have increased surprisingly 
since his system came into fashion." 

" I presume that is one of his patients he is conversing 

" What ! and in such plump condition ! No, that is a 
small poet, a cross between the classic and Delia Crusca 
schools. Suppose we join him V 

Accordingly we took our places beside the bard, who 
was seated alone on a sofa ; when to Donovan's inquiries 
whether he had perused the last new poem, Mr. Singsong 
replied in the affirmative, adding that it was of a superior 

" Yet the public think otherwise," rejoined Donovan. 

" The public !" said Singsong, with a look of supreme 


disdain ; " and who cares what the public think 1 ? Rely on 
it, sir, no man of real genius ever yet published a successful 
poem. Where were ever more signal failures than Paradise 
Lost, the Excursion, Endymion, and Prometheus Unbound ! 
Poetic popularity is a sort of thing I neither covet nor 

"You have reason to congratulate yourself in this 
respect," replied Donovan archly, "for yours is no mob 
popularity. Indeed, I did hear that your last volume 
failed so egregiously as not even to defray the expenses of 

" Failed ! I know not what you call failure. Never 
was there a work more highly spoken of by the critics, or 
more warmly received by those who know how to appre- 
ciate taste and feeling. Failed, indeed ! Why, certainly 
it iff neither in fashion at Wapping, nor an oracle in St. 
Giles' ; but the public generally have stamped it with 
their approbation. Failed, forsooth ! If you mean this 
by way of joke, Mr. Donovan, trust me it is an uncom- 
monly dull one." 

" Have you heard the news, gentlemen, the news — the 
news 1" said a squat, pompous little man, whom Donovan 
introduced to me as the editor of a minor monthly 

"News ! what news ?" asked all of us in a breath. 

" What 1 have you not heard of the change that we — " 

" Oh, yes," said Donovan, " I have often heard (who has 
not 1) of We. We, though dating from a back garret, has 
helped to write the country into a war before now. We 
told Byron he was no poet, and Cowper that he was a 
mere fanatic. But what of this Mr. We ? " 

" Why, I thought, of course, you knew that We have 
commenced a new series of our Magazine." 

" Astonishing," replied Donovan, with mock gravity ; 
" no wonder all Europe is ringing with the intelligence." 

" And, what is better still," continued the editor, 
wholly engrossed with his subject, "wc have procured 
the assistance oi the very ablest contributor of the clay. 


A wonderful fellow ! Quite an universal genius ! Ah ! 
yonder 's the very man. I must go and speak with him ;" 
and away he went to join his idol. 

When he was gone, '•' That man," said Donovan, point- 
ing after him, "has no conception of intellect, except as 
connected with a magazine. He dates from month to 
month, and is one of that numerous class of witlings who 
contrive to mount up in the literary world by no merit of 
their own, but solely by clinging to the skirts of some 
clever fellow who is on the ascent. As every substance 
has its shadow, so every literary lion has his literary 
jackall, who imitates his style, spreads his fame, echoes 
his good sayings, and, in return, is honoured with his 

" What do you think of Wilson as a lion ?" I inquired. 

"As a poetic landscape-painter," replied Singsong, 
" Wilson is unrivalled. What a fairy-land has he made 
of Windermere and its little bay ! I wonder the elf's and 
sylphs of the lake-country have never yet got up a public 
meeting by moonlight, under the shadow of Helvellyn 
(the spirit of Lodore in the chair), and presented him with 
the freedom of the lakes in a handsome snuff-box, made 
of Queen Mab's agate-stone ! But not only is Wilson a 
poet, he is remarkable also for a rich fantastic vein of 
humour, which — ■" 

" Your mention of humour," said Donovan, " brings to 
my recollection two books which I lately abstracted from a 
friend's library, who is rather particular in these matters — " 

"God bless me!" rejoined Singsong, "I have lately 
missed several volumes myself. Have you — " 

" Sir, your inference is most disrespectful ; the books I 
allude to are 'Elia' and 'Melincourt.' What Wilson is to 
the lakes, Lamb is to London. Then who feels a snug, so- 
cial rubber like him 1 I should detest whist, if it were not 
for dear, delightful Mi's. Battle, whose gentle shade seems 
mildly to expostulate with me on my heterodoxy. As 
for ' Melincourt,' its Island of Cimmerian Gloom is an alle- 
gory worthy of ' Rabelais.'" 



" You speak of ' Eabelais.' I am just fresh from an ac- 
quaintance with that elastic rogue Panurge, and cannot, 
for the life of me, help thinking that he is the original of 

" That's an odd crotchet ; but go on. I love a bounc- 
ing absurdity." 

" The two characters," continued Singsong, " have so 
much in common — such peculiar ingenuity in lying — such 
endless-' jokes on, and fantastic extenuations of their phy- 
sical defects — such rich, quaint, ever-welling humour, 
glossing over, and even lending a grace to their prepos- 
terous cowardice — such amusing profligacy — such out- 
rageous faculties of buffoonery — such readiness at con- 
trivance — such incredible powers of face and bluster — to 
say nothing of a hundred other traits, equally far-fetched, 
yet congenial, that the resemblance could scarcely have 
been the mere result of a lucky chance. Falstaff is 
Panurge plumped out. Panurge is Falstaff fallen away. 
Panurge with Pantagruel plays the same game as Falstaff 
with Prince Hal. Panurge in the storm at sea is the 
counterpart of Falstaff at Shrewsbury. Both hold dis- 
cretion to be the better part of valour ; both have no 
other idea of life than as a tipsy jest ; both are self-cate- 
chists on honour ; both have their Doll Tear-sheet ; both 
the same accommodating theory of debt. Again — " 

"But how came Shaksj>eare acquainted with 'Rabelais?' " 
asked Donovan. 

" How 1 Why, when Shakspeare wrote, Rabelais was 
the one great name on the Continent ; and as Lord Bacon 
had already made him the theme of panegyric, and two 
of his most prominent characters were our Lord Chancellor 
Moore and Luther, the founder of our Protestant revolu- 
tion, his fame could scarcely have been a stranger to 
Englishmen ; certainly, not to such an active, inquisitive 
spirit as Shakspeare, who passed much of his time in the 
better educated circles of the court. Now, our swan of 
Avon, we all know, was never very scrupulous about the 
means by which he gained plots and characters for his 


piays — as ho lias proved by his profuse pilferings from the 
old Italian novels ; and I think it far from improbable 
that he had met with some garbled translation of ' Rabe- 
lais/ and, finding the dramatic capabilities of Panurge, had 
dressed up the rogue afresh, made him, by way of contrast, 
a miracle of obesity, and baptised him Falstaff." 

" Yet, as rogues, both Falstaff and Panurge must hide 
their heads before the Spanish swindlers, whose genius 
was so abundant that it ran over at their fingers' ends. 
What think you of that prodigy of petty larceny, Don 
Raphael, who, when complimented on his uncommon 
faculties of appropriation, replied, ' Upon my word, signor, 
I would almost as lief be an honest man as a rogue ! ' 
Match me the sublime indifference of this, if you can !" 

"Donovan ," said I, sick to death of this conversation, 
" we wax prosy ; Mr. Singsong, I must quit you, or I 
shall drop fast asleep ;" and so saying, I passed on to a 
group who were standing at a table covered with prints, 
magazines, &c. 

" This is finely executed," said mine host, pointing my 
attention to an engraving from a design by Haydon. 

"It is far better than the original," replied a royal 
academician. " Haydon is at best but a vigorous dauber." 

"Indeed!" said the bibliopole. "Yet he ranks high 
as an artist." 

" Only among ignoramuses ; the Academy thinks 
nothing of him." 

"Is he not superior to Northcote ?" I inquired. 

"To Northcote !" rejoined the painter, with a sneer; 
and then, with a look that he thought would at once 
annihilate me, " Sir, that eminent artist has been an R. A. 
upwards of thirty years." 

But I survived the shock, and added, " You will at 
least allow that Martin is a fine painter." 

" Humph ! he is no academician." 

A sharp answer was just about to escape me, when 
Donovan recalled me to his side. " Singsong and Matter- 
of-fact, the Utilitarian," said he, "are, as usual, declaring 


war to the knife against each other. Let us join them : 
I love a row." 

"And so, Mr. Matter-of-fact," said the bard, as we 
resumed our seats on the sofa, " you have really no faith 
in the poetical temperament V 

" Not an atom. What you call inspiration is, in nine 
cases out of ten, mere indigestion. You are a sad, selfish 
set, you poets ; and in the perverted ingenuity with which 
you persuade mankind to be miserable, you stand out in 
humiliating contrast to us Utilitarians, whose first prin- 
ciple it is to do our best to leave tbs world wiser and 
happier than we found it." 

" Wiser, certainly, if the essence of all wisdom consists 
:ta a knowledge that two and two make four ; happier, 
also, if the mechanical and the commonplace are the sole 
requisites for felicity. But, till you can persuade the 
world of this, you and yours must be content to rank 
among those learned philosophers whom Panurge speaks 
of as sowing fields with gunpowder, in the hope that the 
seed might sprout up into cannon-balls. Humanity is no 
spinning-jenny, Mr. Matter-of-fact. There is such a thing 
as passion." 

" I know there is : I see it by your face." 

" And yet you talk, write, and act as if human nature 
were a mere machine !" 

" Not so ; but we would make every effort of mind 
tend to expound some principle, illustrate some truth, 
answer some great purpose of utility." 

"And so it does, when rightly estimated ; but yours is 
ft purblind, tradesman-like notion of the useful. You 
would take measure of humanity like a tailor, as if it 
consisted but of one individual, and that one was a 
political economist. You would shatter to atoms the 
golden images of poetry, deface its armorial bearings, and 
set up, instead, the brazen calf of Utilitarianism. There 
is a want of scope, elevation, and tolerance in your phi- 
losophy. Are you then, and such as you, to come forwaig 1 
nt this time of day, and gravely tell us that humanity 


hitherto has been all a mistake — that its thoughts and 
interests have all taken a wrong direction, and that you 
are the Deucalions destined to regenerate it 1 You talk 
of the fictions of the poets — " 

" Meaning thereby to deduce their genealogy from the 
Devil. He was the father of lies, and, of course, the first 
poet. Rant as you please, Mr. Singsong ; facts are the 
only things worth a wise man's consideration." 

'•' Agreed ; and you will find more in one page of 
Shakspeare than in all the volumes McCulloch ever 

" McCulloch ! why, he is full of facts." 

" Nevertheless, match me, in all Shakspeare, a fiction 
equal in wild extravagance to your idol's theory of Absen- 

" What do you think of our Greatest-Happiness-Prin- 

" Think ? why, that it is invaluable ; and i:ot the less 
so for being as old as the hills. It is the groundwork of 
the Socratic philosophy — the staple of the Sermon on the 

" This is a mere frantic assumption," said Matter-of- 
fact, in a passion ; " and I now see more clearly than ever 
the necessity of adopting the suggestion of a friend of 
mine, namely, to establish a society for the suppression of 
poetry. Now, don't alarm yourself, Mr. Singsong ; my 
project will not interfere with your interests. I propose 
only to suppress poetry, not prose run mad." 

' ' Ah, my dear sir, I am not now to learn for the first 
time that, if you had your will, you would plant Par- 
nassus with hemp and tobacco, turn the temple of the 
Muses into a cotton-mill, and carry a railroad right 
through the heart of fairy-land." 

" God help me ! the man's a lunatic !" exclaimed Mat- 
ter-of-fact, casting a look of bewilderment at the poet. 

" Lunatic !" said the bibliopole, who, attracted by the 
noise of the dispute, now joined us. " I suppose, sir-, you 
are alluding to poor Cribb, the dramatist. His is a hard 


case, poor fellow ; but, I'm happy to say, a subscription 
is being got up for him, to which, I doubt not, each of 
you will gladly — " 

The mention of the word " subscription" had an elec- 
trical effect on the company, and induced universal loco- 
motion. One person just remembered that he had a call 
to make on his way home ; another, that he had promised 
to join a party at Drury Lane ; and a third, that he had 
got a proof-sheet to revise before the morning. Finding 
this to be the case, I also took the opportunity of slipping 
away, and amused myself for some hours afterward at my 
lodgiugs with noting clown memoranda of the night's 
proceedings in my journal, which, however, under any 
circumstances, would have been vividly impressed upon 
my mind, from the singular fact of my losing neither my 
hat nor my umbrella ! They were not even exchanged ! 



It is fortunate for young politicians that there happens 
to be such a place as Ireland. To me, at least, the sister 
isle has always proved a fortunate theme for speculation, 
and Catholic Emancipation in particular a perfect god- 
send ; for, during the whole period of my connexion with 
Donovan, while I was warmly advocating this question in 
his journal, I was as warmly opposing it in another. I 
am aware it will be said by those who are incapable of 
the more enlarged sentiments of humanity, that, by thus 
writing on both sides of the question, I was influenced by 
a base love of lucre ; but I scorn the ungenerous insinua- 
tion. My sole motive for such conduct originated in a 
conviction that the only way for a man to accomplish 
hhrself as a politician is by discussing the white as well 
as the black of every question. Great truths are best 
struck out, by collision. 


As, for want of some fresher subject, I was busy at the 
office one Saturday morning, cudgelling my brains for a 
smart, terse " leader" on Ireland, in which the Liberator, 
as usual, should figure by way of episode, my thoughts 
were suddenly called off by the entrance of the office-clerk 
with a card for a private view of the British Gallery. 
There being not a moment to be lost, and the Fine Arts 
constituting one of the most material, indeed favourite, 
branches of my avocation, I gladly dismissed the great 
Liberator in a sentence, and posted off full speed to Pall 

I know of no rarer intellectual treat than a fine collec- 
tion of paintings. If only by way of contrast to one's 
usual occupations, it is worth a visit. At one moment 
you are trudging along the busy, crowded, every-day 
world of the Strand ; the next, you are standing in the 
exalted presence of genius, amid comparative stillness and 
desertion, gazing on some blue Sicilian sky with Claude, 
drinking in the spirit of some fresh sea-breeze with Van- 
dervelde ; feasting on the luxury of some lovely woman's 
black eye with Reynolds ; looking, till your very flesh 
creeps again, far down into the horrid depths of some 
sunless glen, while a grim, swarthy brigand lurks, half 
seen, among the woods, with Salvator Rosa ; feeling what 
love is with Titian, and chivalry with Vandyke ; now 
smitten with the coquettish Spanish gipsy girls of Murillo ; 
and now ready to pour forth your whole soul in adora- 
tion of the Madonnas of Correggio or Carlo Dolce ! Five 
minutes make all the difference in a case like this. It 
suffices to transport you from the world of business and 
commonplace into the seventh heaven of the imagination ! 

On my arrival at the British Gallery, I found a small 
sprinkling of critics and artists, together with a few really 
munificent, and a few would-be, patrons of the Fine Arts. 
The whole together scarcely exceeded twenty ; and among 
them, I was particularly struck with a thin, tall, smirking, 
elderly personage, who kept hopping from painting to 
painting, as Beau Didapper might have been supposed to 


do. A more swift-footed amateur I never beheld. The 
finest skies of Claude failed to rivet his attention for 
more than a few seconds. Five minutes even of a Rubens 
would have bored him to death. 

" Hey, Barnet !" said this airy whirligig, as the keeper 
accompanied him most deferentially in all his movements, 
" what's this 1 what's this 1 — very pretty, fine colouring 
— looks like a Claude." 

" That, General, is a Rembrandt." 

"Well, well — no matter — all the same — fine Titian 
this !" 

" I beg pardon, General, it's a — " 

" Velasquez — so I see."j 

" I rather think, General, it's a — " 

" You're right, so it is — so it is. Clever artist, that 
Paul Potter. Hey, Barnet ?" 

"Very, General." 

"Barnet, Barnet, what's this, No. 168? Warm sky 
— fine perspective f 

The keeper hastened to point out the number in his 
catalogue ; but, before he could turn over two or three 
leaves, the velocipede was off again to a distant part of 
the room, Mr. Barnet moving after hirn as swiftly as his 
years would permit. 

Again the harlequin attacked him. "Hey, Barnet, 
whom have we got here 1 No. 325. Very pretty — very 
pretty — very pretty indeed ! Charming face ! sweet figure ! 
What a bust !" 

" That is the celebrated—" 

" So I thought ; and 327 is her husband, I suppose. 
Sticks close to her side — hey, Barnet ?" and the General 
laughed blandly at this bright surmise. 

In this mercurial style he pirouetted through the gal- 
lery, till, having finished his gallopade, and accomplished 
his survey of about four hundred paintings in something 
less than half-an-hour, he whirled out of the room, and 
was off like a shot in his cab ! 

"Ah," thought I, as I stared after him in an ecstacy of 


astonishment and admiration, "what a blessing it is to 
have a quick apprehension of the sublime and beautiful 
in art !" 



" The course of true love never did run smooth ;" and 
the same remark applies with equal force to the course of 
a public journalist. One day, when I was seated at my 
desk reading a report of a grand Tory dinner given to Mr. 
Canning at Liverpool, the office-boy knocked at my door, 
with information that two gentlemen were below who 
were desirous of speaking with the editor on business of 
importance, which admitted of no delay. 

Before I had time to consider what answer should be 
given to this pressing application, the strangers entered 
sans ceremonie, and, walking straight up to my desk, the 
taller of the two, a perfect elephant of a man, drew the 
preceding Sunday's publication from his pocket, and, 
pointing with a smile to a particular paragraph, asked if 
I was the author of that brilliant squib. 

I am rarely thrown off my guard ; but on this occasion 
my vanity got the better of my discretion, and, contrary 
to all etiquette, I at once avowed the aiithorship, express- 
ing at the same time my gratification that it had afforded 
them amusement. 

"So much amusement," said the tallest of the two, 
" that my friend here and myself have come in person to 
offer our express acknowledgments." 

" Yes, sir," added his companion, " the paragraph in 
question is one that cannot be too promptly acknowledged. 
It is a base, unwarrantable calumny on a lady with whom 
we have the honour to be acquainted." 

" Calumny !" said I ; " believe me, gentlemen, you are 
wholly in error. The paragraph contains nothing of the 


sort ; it is a mere harmless jeu d'esprit, penned hastily in 
a moment of overpowering sprightliness." 

" And do you presume to call this sprightliness ?" inter- 
rupted the giant, slowly reading over the article, and lay- 
ing a malignant emphasis on each word ; " I tell you, sir, 
it is an infamous falsehood, such as no gentleman would 
have dared to circulate. However, i did not come here 
to talk, but to act ;" and so saying, he drew forth a horse- 
whip from beneath his cloak, and half-strangling me with 
one hand, so as to render me utterly incapable of defence, 
laid it across my shoulders with the other. 

There is a natural dislike in man to have his nose 
pulled, and the same disinclination extends, I have gene- 
rally observed, to a horsewhipping. It will not appear 
surprising, therefore, that, partaking of the common pre- 
judice of humanity, I indignantly resisted this encroach- 
ment on the liberty of the subject. " Sir," said I, " this 
ruffian personality is not to be endured, and if there be 
law or — " 

" Personality, my good sir !" said the fellow who had 
planted himself before the door, " we have no wish to be 
personal ; our quarrel is with the public editor, not the 
private individual. I trust we have too nice a sense of 
propriety not to discriminate between the two characters." 

This was adding insult to injury, and being followed up 
by a brisk application of the other ruffian's boot to my 
rearward Adam as he let go his hold, after having nearly 
throttled me, wound me up to such a pitch of desperation, 
that, making a sudden rush to the door, I knocked down 
the sophistical scoundrel who guarded it, and was off like 
lightning to Donovan's lodgings. 

There is nothing like passion to give wings to a man's 
speed ; it would make a mercury of a Dutchman. Hardly 
had I lost sight of the office, when, behold ! I was at 
Donovan's door. My appearance struck him with asto- 
nishment. My lips quivered, my legs trembled, my 
clothes exhibited samples of every crossing irom "Fleet- 
street to the Strand. 


" So," said I, " a pretty condition yon have reduced me 
to, Mr. Donovan ! But you shall give me satisfaction, 
sir, instant satisfaction — no ruffian shall horsewhip me 
with impunity." 

" Horsewhip ? Nonsense — you must be joking, surely." 

"Sir, it is no joke to me, whatever it may be to you. 
I tell you I have been insulted, bullied, and horse- 
whipped into the bargain, and all in consequence of that 
confounded paragraph about Lady A , and her re- 
ported liaison with — " 

"Sir Bore Brocas. I remember it perfectly; and so, 
for this harmless squib, you have actually, you say, been 
horsewhipped ? Upon my word, O'Blarney, this is a 
monstrous lucky affair. It will give quite a lift to the 
paper. And then the damages !" 

"Indeed !" said I, with a most bitter smile ; "but you 
forget my shoulders, Mr. Donovan." 

" Don't mention it ; 'tis a mere trifle, not worth think- 
ing about." 

" Trifle, sir !" 

" To be sure ; what is a horsewhipping compared with 
the eclat it will give our paper 1 'Tis a mere nothing 
when one's used to it. But," continued Donovan, seeing 
that, so far from being convinced, I began to manifest 
increased passion, "let us discuss the matter coolly and 
rationally, not like romantic boys, but like men of the 
world ;" and, throwing himself back in his arm-chair, with 
an easy impudence that made me smile notwithstanding 
my rage, commenced as follows : — " There are two lights 
in which a horsewhipping may be regarded — first, as an 
affair of honour ; secondly, as an affair of business. Your 
raw stripling, who is all for the heroics, views it only in 
the first light, and retrieves his ' honour ' by being shot 
through the head ; but your more shrewd worldling, 
having wit enough to view it in the other, obtains satis- 
faction by making his aggressor pay down a handsome 
per centage for his experiment. Now, I contend that all 
assaults, whether dorsal, humeral, or nasal, should be re- 


gardecl in this light, and revenged in this spirit only. 
For why should not a man make his shoulders as available 
a property as his brains 1 Why let the slightest portion 
of corporeal capital lie idle 1 It is an affront to an all- 
wise Providence to do so, especially in your case, whose 
Atlantean shoulders were manifestly built for the pur- 
poses of assault. Be resigned, then, O'Blarney, ever bearing 
in mind this consolatory axiom, that, after all, a horse- 
whipping is nothing more than a dispute taking a practical 
instead of a theoretical turn. Besides, consider, assaults 
usually carry damages ; and that made on you being of a 
highly-inflammatory character, ten to one it conjures a 
cool five hundred out of Sir Bore's pocket into yours. 
Now, with this sum you can make the grand tour ! 
Beally, my friend, all things considered, I look on this 
affair as quite a god-send, and am so far from condoling 
with you that I beg leave to offer you my sincerest con- 
gratulations. Of course, you'll prosecute ?" 

" That's as may happen ; at present I can think of no- 
thing but the intolerable pain in my shoulder-blades." 

" Nonsense. You must — you shall prosecute. How is 
the affair to get wind else 1 Consider, your ' honour,' as 
you call it, is at stake." 

" My honour, Mr. Donovan ! Why, sir, my very 
seat of honour is at stake ! Would you believe it, the 
ruffian — " 

" You need not go on, I can guess what is to come ; 
there are no half-measures in affairs of this sort ; so the 
' ruffian ' having done his business in a workman-like style, 
it is now your turn to do yours. Let me see. In the 
first place, you must enter an action of assault and battery 
against Sir Bore Brocas ; secondly — " 

At this stage of the conversation, a lad entered the 
room with a most suspicious, lawyer-like note, which ha 
said had been left for the proprietor and editor of the 
Squib journal, and which, as the bearer had declared it to 
contain matters of importance, the clerk had ordered him 
to forward to Donovan's lodgings. 


Donovan ojsened the note, but before lie had perused 
three lines his countenance visibly lengthened. 

I watched the change, and, delighted with an oppor- 
tunity of repaying banter with banter — for I had been 
more annoyed by his irony than I chose to confess — said, 
" Heyday ! what's the matter now 1 Is there a second 
horsewhipjmig in the wind V 

" Don't talk so like a fool," replied Donovan sulkily; 
"this is no time for joking." 

" So I thought when you were favouring me just now 
with your facetious essay." 

" Zounds ! O'Blarney, you're enough to drive one mad ! 
Here is a notice of action for a libel contained in our 
paper of Sunday fortnight. However, it's your business, 
not mine. It is monstrous that the innocent should suffer 
for the guilty." 

" Capital ! So you are to monopolise all the profits of 
the paper, and I the horsewhippings and libels !" 

" Why, are not you the editor ]" 

"And you the proprietor ?" 

-' Granted ; but when I engaged you, it was far from 
my intention to stand godfather to your libels. No, no, 
sir, you must come forward and acknowledge your own 
paternity. I will have no order of affiliation made on 
me. How, in the name of common-sense, could you be 
fool enough to meddle with the private character of a 
cabinet minister V 

" And how could you be fool enough to allow the para- 
graph to be inserted 1" 

" Well, well, this recrimination is childish ; what's done 
can't be undone ; therefore our mutual safety is what we 
must now look to. I despise that sort of chivalrous spirit 
which would induce one man to go to jail for another ; at 
the same time, mark me, I would not wish to do anything 
unjust or — " 

" Ahem ! I clearly undefctand you, sir." 

After some further conversation of this nature, which 
terminated, as might have been anticipated, in a quarrel 


— for I could not but see that Donovan meditated throwing 
all the onus of the libel on my already sufficiently afflicted 
shoulders — I left him with the fixed but secret determina- 
tion of resigning my editorial functions, and never again 
venturing my person near the office. 

This resolution was no sooner formed than executed. 
I instantly removed from my old lodgings, kept my new 
place of abode a more than Eleusinian mystery, and never 
once, for a whole fortnight, ventured out, except, like a 
bat or a burglar, by night. 

Meantime the myrmidons of the law were not inactive, 
and within a very brief period from my resignation of the 
editorship the morning papers made me acquainted with 
the fact that Patrick Donovan, having been found guilty 
of a libel on a distinguished member of his Majesty's 
Government, was to be brought up the ensuing term for 

About the same time, through the influence of a re- 
spectable news-agent, who alone was in my confidence, the 
editorship of a country journal, entitled the Humbug 
Flying Reporter, was offered me, for which town I forth- 
with took my departure, with the avowed intention of 
henceforth cutting all connexion with a metropolis where 
tny industry and abilities had met with so unworthy a 

It was on a chilly, foggy April evening that I took my 
seat inside the Humbug Mercury. My prospects were 
gloomy, my spirits still more so. Gradually, however, 
this despondency wore away, and gave place to livelier 
sensations. A night's journey in a stage-coach is an ex- 
cellent recipe for the blues. A thousand little incidents 
are perpetually at work to call off the attention from self. 
There is the casual and often divertingly characteristic 
chit-chat ; the whimsical settling-down of the more prac- 
tised insiders into a snug nook for a nap ; the cheering 
sound of the guard's horn, as the horses clatter along the 
stones of some provincial town ; the snatch of supper at 
the appointed inn, with the bright fireside and the blazing 


candles; then, again, the abrupt depai-ture, with the "Good- 
night" of my landlord, and the "All right" of the regenerated 
coachman — these, and divers other minutise, though trifling- 
enough, you will say, have at least a tendency to divert 
the mind, and so far re-assured me that, by the time I 
reached Humbug, I had wholly regained my serenity, 
notwithstanding I had for fourteen hours been wedged 
fast between two elderly ladies, one of whom took Scotch 
snuff, and the other talked incessantly of her son Tom. 




Within a walking distance of the borough of Humbu 
dwelt Miles Snodgrass, Esq., who was rich, consequently 
respectable, and possessed of considerable local influence. 
As the artificer of his own fortune, Mr. Snodgrass held 
himself in no slight estimation. His father had for years 
been the town-clerk ; but dying suddenly when Miles was 
yet a boy, left him heir to little but his virtues and his 
wardrobe. The lad, however, being tractable, bustling, 
and gifted with what the experienced in such matters call 
" an eye to business," was taken notice of by the parochial 
authoiities, who contrived to get him bound apprentice 
to an old friend of his father, a wealthy linen-draper of 
Humbug, in which capacity he rendered himself so gene- 
rally useful, that at the expiration of his servitude his 
master, finding he could not do without him, took the 
young man into partnership, and, in process of time, as he 
himself waxed old and indolent, invested him with the 
entire superintendence of the concern. 

Years rolled on, and each successive one found Miles 
Snodgrass rising into gradual importance in the neigh- 
bourhood. By the death of his patron he became sole 


proprietor of the concern, which enabled him to enlarge 
the sphere of his ambition, and espouse the wealthy 
daughter of a retired butcher and alderman of the borough. 

But his good luck did not stop here. Some men are 
born with a silver spoon in their mouths, and Miles 
Snodgrass was one of these lucky few. A successful specu- 
lation in cottons rendered him, shortly after" his marriage, 
so wholly independent of trade as to justify him in with- 
drawing his name from the concern, and becoming what 
is called a " sleeping partner." 

It is from this period that his standing in society may 
be dated. At the urgent intercession of his eldest 
daughter, who was now fast advancing to womanhood, he 
exchanged his snug private hoixse in the main street for a 
spacious mansion, about half a mile from the borough ; 
emblazoned the armorial bearings of the Snodgrasses on 
the panels of his carriage ; suddenly discovered that his 
family was of ancient extraction ; and once, in a moment 
of enthusiasm, was heard to talk of his ancestors. 

The town viewed these symptoms of unequivocal gen- 
tility with more than ordinary interest. The corporation, in 
particular, were delighted with such a handsome additament 
to their fraternity, and rioted in anticipation of the glorious 
feastings that would ensue, when Miles Snodgrass, Esq., 
should be metamorphosed into his worship the mayor. 

Nor were they disappointed. After passing through 
all the initiatory phases, our worthy burgess, who had for 
many years been exjianding into the requisite circum- 
ference, became mayor of the borough of Humbug. His 
inaugural dinner surpassed all expectation, and was 
rendered unusually popular by the death of two attorneys 
from apoplexy. 

I have as yet said nothing on the subject of his worship's 
politics. Being more than ordinarily fortunate, he was, 
of course, loyal in proportion ; and having invested a con- 
siderable portion of his property in the five per cents., 
made a point of getting up Pitt dinners, together with all 
sorts of clubs, meetings, and addresses that might tend to 


strengthen the public securities, and evince his attachment 
to the ruling powers. His hostility to the Radicals was 
equally exemplary ; while the stocks, the cart's-tail, and 
black-hole bore testimony to his vigour as a magistrate. 

Such services did not pass unnoticed. A cabinet minis- 
ter happening, during his mayoralty, to be on a visit in 
the neighbourhood, a grand public dinner, at which his 
worship presided, was given to the great man, who after 
the customary loyal toasts, <fcc, not only proposed the 
health of the Mayor of Humbug, but even held him forth 
to the company as a shining public character, whose pa- 
triotism was as sterling as his eloquence, and with whom 
it was an honour to be acquainted. 

This compliment — particularly the touch aoout his 
eloquence, on which he prided himself — was very nearly 
the death of Mr. Snodgrass. He did not get safely over 
it for six months. He talked of it by day, he dreamed 
of it by night ; looked about him with a consequential 
air ; affected reserve and mystery, as if vast ideas were 
fermenting in his brain ; until at length he reasoned him- 
self into the conviction that he was bona fide a great 

But there is a tide in the affairs of men ; and his wor- 
ship's having been some years at its full flood, was now 
beginning to ebb. Notwithstanding the publicly pro- 
claimed friendship of the cabinet minister, time rolled on 
and found him an unrewarded country raagistra te. Though, 
on the occasion of a memorable Tory meeting at Humbug, 
he had gone the extreme length of declaring his perfect 
readiness to die in the last ditch in defence oi the glorious 
Constitution, still he had been refused the only place he 
ever solicited from Government. This was a hard case, 
but he bethought himself oi the proverbial ingratitude of 
public men, and for a time was reconciled to his lot. An 
event at length occurred which deranged the whole economy 
oi his politics. Owing to the popular clamour, the minis- 
ter of the day iound himsel . compelled to reduce the live 
per cents. ; and Mr. Snodgrass, who, as i observed before, 



had invested largely in these funds, experienced in conse- 
quence a considerable reduction of income. Heavens and 
earth ! what was his indignation when the appalling tidings 
first reached him. He threatened, he raved, he talked 
of Tory madness and ministerial ingratitude — hinted that 
he had been mistaken in his prejudice against the Whigs 
— and brought himself to think even of the Radicals 
without horror ! There is no affront so deeply resented 
or so long remembered as that offered to the pocket, and 
Mr. Snodgrass was proverbially sensitive on this point. 

It was about this critical period, when he had with- 
drawn in disgust from public life, that I made my first 
appeai'ance at Humbug. As the editor of the only Liberal 
journal — my contemporary was a red-hofc Tory — it was, of 
course, requisite that I should cultivate connexion as 
much as possible. I instituted, therefore, minute inquiries 
into the character, politics, wealth, patronage, and so forth, 
of every leading family in the district, and soon became 
acquainted with all the circumstances relative to Mr. 
Snodgrass which I have just narrated. 

Portunately for my prospects of notoriety, the Liberal 
member died a few months after my arrival in Humbug, 
and it became a matter of pi*essing necessity to put another 
of similar principles in nomination. 

I was among the first applied to on this subject — such 
influence had my bustling activity already procured me 
— and to the committee who paid me the honour of an 
official visit I ventured, after numerous candidates had 
been proposed and rejected, to suggest the name of Miles 

The committee, as I expected, were thunder-struck at 
the suggestion. 

" Why, he is a Tory !" said one. 

"A mere imbecile !" exclaimed a second. 

" His very name would damn the cause !" hinted a 

""Gentlemen," I observed, " believe me, you are all in 
error on this point. True, Mr. Snodgrass is a Tory j but 


why ? Because his principles have hitherto squared with 
his interests. Of late, however, he Las sustained grievous 
pecuniary inconvenience, and is just now, as I have every 
reason to believe, in that state of vacillation which it re- 
quires only an expert tactician to turn to account. Habit 
would still incline hiin to Toryism ; but wounded vanity, 
disappointed ambition, diminished means, urge him forward 
in an opposite direction. 

" You say he is unpopulai\ That may be, but he is at 
least a favourite with our cox*poration, the majority of 
whom are likely enough to wink at his tei-giversation, 
from the reverential reminiscences they entertain of his 
past dinners, and the avidity with which they look forward 
to future ones. Gentlemen, a politician, no matter whether 
"Whig or Tory, who baits with a good dinner, is pretty 
sure to hook an alderman ! 

" Besides, let us bear in mind that from Mr. Snodgrass' 
nomination we derive these two positive advantages : in 
the first place, if he come over to our party, yet fail in 
his election, he is, from that moment, muzzled for life ; 
secondly, if he succeed, he will plead oiu- cause with all 
the energy of which he is capable ; for, as neglected poets 
turn to raving critics, so disappointed Tories invariably 
make the stifFest Liberals. Of the exact amount of his 
imbecillity I am no judge, further than that he is an 
alderman, and has been a mayor. Trust me, however, 
it is not always the wisest man that makes the best 

The committee were so struck with the sagacity — I 
quote their own appropriate expressions — of these sug- 
gestions, that, after one or two more discussions, they all 
came round to my way of thinking ; decided that Mr. 
Snodgrass should be invited to stand on the Whig, cr, as 
we adroitly phrased it, the Independent, interest ; and 
waving the usual forms of going up in a body — as it was 
supposed that more could be done with Mr. Snodgrass in 
a confidential tete-a-tete — that I should wait on him singly 
with the intelligence, and exert all my powers of rhetoric 
to induce him to accede to the nomination. 




Pursuant to the directions of the committee, I paid a 
visit in form to the worthy alderman. I found him alone 
at breakfast, in what he called his study, hidden behind a 
double sheet of the Times ; above him, over the mantel- 
piece, hung an autograph letter, framed and glazed, from 
the lord-lieutenant of the county, complimenting him on 
the zeal and ability he had displayed on some particular 
occasion, in his capacity of magistrate ; and directly 
opposite, his own portrait, a superb full-length, as mayor 
of the borough of Humbug. 

From the circumstance of his being rich, I was pre- 
pared also to find Mr. Snodgrass genteel and handsome. 
Nor was I disappointed. It is astonishing what a supe- 
riority, in point of appearance, a rich man possesses over 
a poor one. I hate poor men. In this respect I am quite 
a magistrate. 

For the rest, the alderman was just such a man as may 
be met with in the Strand or on 'Change any hour in the 
day; a shrewd, active, hot-tempered John Bull ; about fifty 
years of age ; self-conceited, but far from proud ; frugal, 
and, ]3erhaps, penurious, except where his vanity was con- 
cerned, when ho could be as lavish of his money as a 

On taking my seat, after the usual preliminaries, &c, I 
opened on the purport of my visit, which being duly ex- 
plained, I drew forth the requisition from my pocket, 
placed it in the alderman's hands, and watched attentively 
aach change of his countenance, as, adjusting his spectacles, 
he ran over the list of signatures, and muttered a few 
words on each : — "Giles Markland; good, an old colleague 
of mine on the bench. James Portsoken; hah ! a con- 
nexion, by marriage, of Mrs. S. — did a deal of business 
some years since in the soap line. Anthony Catchflat ; 


hem ! an attorney in the Gazette last year, but honest, I 
believe, notwithstanding. John — Charles — Battiscomb " 
— the alderman lingered over these words with evident 
satisfaction — "well, now, this really is most flattering. 
If there be one man in all Humbug I esteem more than 
another, Alderman Battiscomb is that man. A more 
respectable individual never breathed. They do say, in- 
deed, he's worth half a million." In this manner Mr. 
Snodgrass kept commenting on the different signatures, 
till, having gone through the list, he placed it on the 
table, and said with a sigh, " The requisition, Mr. — I beg 
pardon, but I really forget your name." 

" O'Blarney." 

" Well, Mr. O'Blarney, the requisition which you have 
done me the honour to be the bearer of is, I need scarcely 
say, most flattering to my feelings, and could I but accept 
the handsome offer of the committee, I would do so most 
gladly ; but, sir, there are grave considerations in the way, 

" I know to what you allude, sir, but I flatter myself I 
can adduce reasons that will convince you that, as a public 
man, you are perfectly unfettered." 

The alderman shook his head. " It is impossible, sir ; 
I am too old to rat." 

" Nor would the committee dare to hope such a thing. 
In fact, sir, it is the conviction that such a phrase cannot, 
by any possibility, apply to you, that brings me here to- 

"Not apply — not apply % Indeed, how so '/ Explain 

"Why, sir, it must be evident to all men of the slightest 
discernment, that a public character so well known and 
so generally esteemed as yourself, and one, too, who has 
so much at stake, would never dream of altering his line 
of policy, except from the pressing dictates — " 

" Humph !" interrupted Mr. Snodgrass, with a disap- 
pointed air ; " very correct, no doubt ; but fine words 
butter no parsnips. As a man of honour, and holding the 


station I do in the borough, I am compromised beyond 
all hope of escape. Am I not pledged to Tory principles?" 

"Certainly ; but not to Tory tergiversation." 

" No ; that I should set my face against, as I did against 
the reduction of the five per cents. — a most scandalous 
business, which I shall never forgive, were I to live a 
thousand years." 

" You say you are compromised," said I, bringing him 
back to the point, " to Tory principles, but not to Tory 
tergiversation. Be it so. But suppose that Government 
is going to do with other great questions what it has 
already done with the five per cents.,, will you tell me that 
in such a case you will be still compromised ? Believe 
me, Mr. Snodgrass, I am supposing no extreme case. 
The emergency has already arisen. The whole system of 
Tory policy is at this moment on the eve of important 
changes, so loud is the discontent of the country, and so 
influential the Independent party, whether in or out of 

This staggered the alderman, who, I could clearly per- 
ceive, held his opinions more from habit than conviction. 
After a short pause, I resumed as follows : — " Taking all 
the peculiarities of your position into consideration, T 
cannot see how, with any consistency, you can longer sup- 
port the ministers. They are of opinion that the five per 
cents, should be reduced. You hold that such reduction 
is a breach of faith with the national creditor." 

" But you forget, that question is settled now." 

" True ; and being so settled in the teeth of all their 
former professions, what security can you have for the 
future good faith of ministers T 

" Ahem ! There is some sense in what you say ; but 
remember, that on every other question I hold the same 
sentiments as Government." 

" So you think ; but who is to know what those senti- 
ments are ? Between ourselves, sir, I have it on the very 
best authority — for it is surprising how soon these things 
get wind — that many of the leading Tory land-owners, 


whose members have hitherto supported Government, are 
now beginning to think that they will be safer under a 
more liberal one." 

The alderman here fell into a profound fit of musing. 
I did not disturb his reverie, for I saw that it was at work 
in a right channel. Unwilling, however, that his vacilla- 
tion should be noticed, he observed, in an indifferent tone, 
" Your last piece of intelligence, I must own, surprises 
me ; for, notwithstanding your arguments, and really there 
is a good deal in them, I cannot see how those who have 
hitherto acted with the Tories can now consistently sup- 
port the Whigs." 

" For two excellent reasons. First, because the neces- 
sities of the day demand a change of measures ; secondly, 
because the Whigs, equally with the Tories, ai'e pledged 
to the support of the great landed and moneyed interests." 

"Right," said the alderman, with suitable pomp of 
manner ; " property must have its influence — vested in- 
terests must be supported. Let who will be minister, we 
must have this protection." 

" Can you doubt it 1 The two parties, whatever they 
may once have done, now differ only on minor points." 

" Indeed ! What say you to reform 1 Your Whigs, or 
Independents, as you please to call them, are pledged to 
that at least ; and, really, to be candid with you, a late 
abominable transaction has convinced me, too, that some 
sort of snug, quiet, temperate reform is necessary. Little 
did I think I should ever live to entertain such a notion ! 
But I will encourage no wild Whig theories. I'm a pla \n, 
practical man, and always look to facts." 

" Wild Whig theories ! Ah, Mr. Snodgrass, if the 
Whigs have their faults, the Tories have them a thousand 
times worse. Consider only the indifference, not to say 
the ingratitude, with which ministers have passed you 
over. Why, even that glorious testimony to your public 
worth which I see hanging above my head has brought 
with it nought but barren honour ; while others, even in 
this very neighbourhood, have been loaded with minis- 
terial bounty." 


" Yes, there was Spraggs the barrister, who got that 
very living for his eldest son which Lord Leatherhead has 
promised me for Tom a dozen times." 

" What I a Spraggs preferred to a Snodgrass 1 Im- 
possible !" 
: " Fact." 

" Monstrous ! Were I situated as you are, sir, T would 
at once show ministers that I was not a fool to be trifled 
with — a worm to be trodden on with impunity." 

" You are warm, sir," said Mr. Snodgrass, with a bland 
smile ; " and though your feelings do you credit, still, as 
I have long since forgiven what, between ourselves, I 
cannot but look on as a slight — " 

" A slight ! A breach of common honesty, you should 

" Well, well, my young friend, be it as you please ; only 
do pray be calm. You see how composed I am. With 
regard to the question before us, I have merely to say — 
and I beg you to assure the committee that I say so with 
deep regret — that, under existing circumstances, I must 
decline their handsome offer. A man of my station, Mr. 
O'Blarney, cannot chop and change as if he were a mere 
nobody ! I have a character to support, sir." 

" Since this is the case, then, Mr. Snodgrass," I replied, 
rising to take leave, " there is no more to be said. Yet I 
could have wished it had been otherwise, if only by way 
of answer to those gentlemen whom, no later than yester- 
day, I mysel' heard declare in the town-hall, that no 
matter what tergiversations ministers might be guilty of, 
Miles Snodgrass would still stick by them, for he had 
neither the sense to think, nor the spirit to act for 

This seasonable taunt changed the whole nature of the 
alderman's position. With a loud voice, and flashing eye, 
he exclaimed, " Ah ! what's that you say 1 Sit down, 
sir, sit down ; you are so hasty — so precipitate." 

Resuming my seat, I repeated slowly and emphatically 
every word I had just uttered, with the addition oi such 


inflammatory phrases as might make the fittiag impression 
on Mr. Snodgrass' mind. My sneers had just the effect I 
calculated on ; for, before I had half finished, he started 
from his seat, rudely interrupting me with — " And did 
they say this, sir 1 Did they really dare to speak so of a 
man who for years past — . But I say nothing, sir ; mark 
me, I say nothing ; but this I will say, that the public 
service is the most thankless — the most — . And they 
really said this, did they 1 ?" 

" They did, indeed ; but you have it in your power 
nobly to refute the calumny. Join the Whigs, who, 
by the bye, have always dreaded your influence, and those 
dangerous powers of oratory which — " 

"What, then, you heard of the speech I made during 
my mayoralty? It certainly did create a stir at the 
time," added the alderman, recovering in some degree his 

" And no wonder. You are aware, of course, sir, that 
the living of St. Andrew is just about to be vacated by 
the promotion of the present incumbent to a deanery 1" 

" I never heard a syllable of it," said the alderman, 

" It is the richest in all Humbug, I'm told." 

" So they say ; what then V 

" Oh, nothing. I was merely thinking that, as you in- 
tended your son for the church, it would be the very thing 
to suit him. The patron, you are aware, is a staunch 
"Whig, and, as I have good reason to believe, exceedingly 
anxious that a person of your rank and ability should be 
returned for the borough." 

"My dear sir," said the alderman with animation, 
" your arguments are so convincing, and the justice and 
necessity of the case so apparent, that — that — in short, 
Mr. O'Blarney, I accept the flattering offer of the com- 
mittee. I will show ministers what it is to overlook — I 
mean, sir, that by deeds as well as words I will prove that 
I have the public good at heart. But you are quite sure 
the living is about to fall vacant 1" 


" I heard so from the incumbent's own lips." 

" What a capital thing for Tom ! Not that this has 
the slightest weight with me. I am not a man to be 
biassed by interested motives, as I think I have sufficiently 
shown in the sacrifices I have already made for my king 
and country ;" and the alderman looked the very image 
of patriotic benevolence. 

At this moment we were interrupted by a light tap at 
the door, and his bailiff entered the room. " Beg pardon, 
sir, but it was missis' wish that — " 

" Your mistress should have known better," replied Mr. 
Snodgi-ass sharply, " than to send you here, when she 
knew I was busy. What do you want ? " 

After sundry preliminary hems and haws, the bailiff 
commenced a somewhat copious narrative of the distresses 
of one of Mr. Snodgrass' tenants, who, with his wife and 
three children, had been burnt out of house and home a 
few nights previous ; and, as a last resource, had requested 
the bailiff to lay his case before the alderman. 

" Burnt out ! Starving wife and family ! Aye, aye, the 
old story. What business has a poor man with such a 
litter ! Pretty thing, if all my tenants who have families 
were to apply to me for sirpport !" 

" Missis says, sir, says she, if you can only assist them 
just till they can — " 

" What ! assist a fellow from whom I have not received 
a farthing's rent for the last year 1 " 

" But the man and his family are actually starving, 
sir," replied the honest fellow, waxing bold in a good 

" Starving, John ! How can that be ? There's lots Ox 
excellent soup and meat twice a week at the workhouse. 
I tasted the soup once myself, and really" — making a 
wry face, as if he had swallowed physic — " it was not so 
much amiss." 

" It is but a small matter, sir, that is — " 

" Small or large, I can do nothing ; so leave us. Mr, 
O'Blarney and myself are busy." 


Aware that all further expostulation was useless, the 
bailiff quitted the room, and Mr. Snodgrass continued — 
" As you were saying, Mr. O'Blarney, when this blockhead 
interrupted us, I feel conscious that I have it in my power 
to be of some little service to my country. What is for- 
tune to a man who has the good of his fellow-men at 
heart ! But how are we to win over the corporation ? " 

"Leave that to the committee, sir." 

" And the Dissenters ?" 

" You can subscribe a hundred pounds to their Insti- 

" Humph ! won't fifty — But no matter ; it shall be 
as you say." 

" I am to presume, then, all is settled 1 " 

" Unquestionably ; for if I expend my last shilling, I 
am resolved the citizens of Humbug shall see that Miles 
Snodgrass is not quite the fool they take him for. But 
the Whigs are sanguine of success, you say ?" 

" So the committee assures me ;" and with these words, 
lest I should be closer pressed on the subject, I abruptly 
took my leave. 



While I was acquainting the committee next day with 
the success of my first electioneering manoeuvre, and 
arranging with them all the necessary preliminaries for 
putting Miles Snodgrass, Esq., of Calico Lodge — so ho 
loved to entitle himself — into nomination, a footman, 
bending beneath a weight of gold lace, thrust into my 
hands a letter from the worthy alderman, requesting the 
favour of my company to dinner—" quite in the family 
way," as the P.S. considerately assured me. 

Of course I was all compliance, and, having duly des- 
patched my reply, sat down, and in concert with the more 
active members of the committee drew up the following 


leading article (by way of feeler) for the next day's 
Flying Reporter : — 

" It is with no slight satisfaction we announce the im- 
portant intelligence that Miles Snodgrass, Esq., of Calico 
Lodge, has allowed himself to be put in nomination for 
the borough of Humbug. We need scarcely inform our 
readers that for many years Mr. Snodgrass has been what 
is called a friend to ministers. Had these misguided men 
remained consistent, and adapted their measures to the 
wants and wishes of the people, he would have been so 
still ; finding, however, that it is no longer practicable to 
act with, them, he comes forward with the avowed deter- 
mination of henceforth owning no party but that of the 
country. ' Measures, not men,' is his motto. Electors of 
the borough of Humbug, remember your duties. The 
eyes of Europe are upon you ! Bally round the banners 
of Snodgrass, who has already sacrificed so much, and is 
prepared to sacrifice his all in your behalf. He will well 
and truly represent your interests ; whereas that pensioned 
hireling Lord Gilchrist, whom the faction have put for- 
ward, will but make you subservient to his own base 

This feeler roused the bile of all the Humbug Tories. 
The corporation in particular were astounded, though, 
like experienced tacticians, they kept their feelings to 
themselves. Among them was one Alderman Slyboots, 
a man who, on the partial secession of Mr. Snodgrass 
from public life, had succeeded to much of his influence 
with the fraternity. This person it was a great object 
with me to gain over. But in vain I pumped, sounded, 
and tried to get a clue to his weak points. He was too 
well aware of his position, to compromise his importance 
by siding prematurely either with a Snodgrass or a Gil- 

But though the corporation with their Corypheus Sly- 
boots were thus reserved, not so with the Tory organ, the 
Miraculous Express, which, the very day after the pub- 
lication of my leader, replied in the following classic 
terms : — 


" Our contemporary, the Flying Reporter, announces 
the astonishing fact that Iscariot Snodgrass intends to 
offer himself for this insulted borough on what he calls 
the Independent interest — that is to say, on the interest 
of the Great Unwashed ! ' Mr. Snodgrass/ quoth our 
contemporary in his usual pompous style, ' comes forward 
with the intention of henceforth owning no party but 
that of the country.' Now the plain English of this is — 
Snodgrass has ratted ! He has surrendered himself up, 
bound hand and foot, to the Radicals and the Atheists ! 
But we have our eyes on this worse than Judas. Mean- 
time, Tories of Humbug, look well to yourselves ! Up, and 
be stirring in all quarters. You have a glorious example 
before you in the patriotic, the high-souled Slyboots, who 
is night and day at his post." 

From the period at which this wordy warfare com- 
menced, down to the close of the election, all was uproar 
in the borough, each party striving which should outbribe 
the other. Among other " signs of the times," the price 
of various household utensils i-ose in a most extraordinary 
manner. Tongs and pokers looked up. Coal-scuttles 
were above par. I myself gave one elector five pounds 
for a saucepan without the lid ; a second, ten for a bed- 
candlestick ; and a third, no less than fifteen for a cracked 
tea-cup ! Oh, virtuous times ! Oh, virgin purity of elec- 
tion ! Perish the wretch who could have the heart to 
corrupt ye by the ballot ! 



The hall-clock was just on the stroke of six as I 
entered Mr. Snodgrass' drawing-room, where I found all 
the family present, except the eldest and youngest sons, 
the former of whom was putting the finishing stroke to 
his education at Cambridge. His mother spoke in 


raptures of this young man's precocity, in which she was 
joined by Miss Anna Maria Snodgrass, a spinster addicted 
to Sunday-schools and the patronage of all the rising 
geniuses of the district ; and whose face, broad at the 
forehead and peaked at the chin, like a kite— and which, 
by the bye, she rarely showed but in profile — gave unde- 
niable token that she was of an intellectual turn of mind. 

The youngest daughter, Isabel, was in every respect the 
reverse of her sister. The one was grave and predisposed 
to sanctity ; the other, all smiles and ecstacy. The one 
was a blue, the other a tom-boy. The one seemed 
astonished at nothing ; the other at everything. The one 
was tall, lean, and straight from head to foot like a bed- 
post ; the otlier, short, fat, and remarkable for a fine 
expanse of foot, which, spreading out semi-circularly, like 
a lady's fan, at the toes, lent peculiar weight and safety 
to her tread. 

As for Mrs. Snodgrass, she was a plump, buxom relic 
of the old school — a cross between the mistress and the 
housekeeper. She dressed invariably in the brightest 
colours, wore pockets, and persisted in carrying about with 
her a huge bunch of keys. In temper, she was the perfec- 
tion of homely, hearty good-humour, and was fond of sea- 
soning her talk with parentheses, and indulging in allu- 
sions to her brother, a barrister in some practice at the 

During dinner, a more than ordinary taciturnity pre- 
vailed. The alderman in particular, who held all conver- 
sation during meals as an act of folly, if not profaneneEi, 
said little or nothing. The very utmost licence of speech 
he allowed himself, even on that subject which lay next 
his heart, the election, was a stray r'emark or two, thrown 
off between the courses. '• Why, yes," he would say on 
such occasions, in reply to observations previously made 
by one or other of the party, "your opinion of Gilchrist 
is very just, Maria. — Izzy, are those artichokes near you 1 
And as for the corporation, O 'Blarney, I agree with yoia 
that with a little dexterous management we may contrive 


to win them over. — Mrs. S., that haunch looks so tempt- 
ing that I really think I must venture again. — Besides, 
clyboots is almost the only man among them all whose 
principles may be said to be fixed. — Maria, I'll thank you 
for a wing of one of those partridges ; don't trouble your- 
self, O'Blarney, Maria is a capital carver." 

I did trouble myself, however, and with my usual 
luck ; for in attempting to anatomise the bird, I happened 
— bashful men are always awkward— to baptise Miss 
Snodgrass with the gravy, and despatched a leg over the 
way to her sister. This catastrophe elicited a loud laugh 
from the frolicsome girl, for which her mother thought 
fit to apologise: "She is so full of life, Mr. O'Blarney — 
(Izzy, my dear, you've got no vegetables ; you know I 
dislike your eating meat without them) — quite the child 
of nature ; indeed, her spirits are too much for her 

" I was not laughing at Mr. O'Blarney, mamma," 
replied Isabel, and was proceeding still further to vindi- 
cate her innocence, when her father bluntly checked her 
by saying, " Hold your tongue, ehild, and attend to your 
business ;" shortly after which, the cloth being withdrawn, 
he took off his spectacles, placed a dry crust beside him 
which remained over from the cheese, and looked about 
him with the benignant air of one who has just fulfilled 
a sacred duty. There is nothing like a good dinner to 
bring out the humanities. 

" John," said Mrs. Snodgrass, as the footman was ar- 
ranging the dessert, " you have forgotten to place a chair 
for Master Samuel." 

The man hastened to repair his omission, after which 
the bell was rung twice, and almost instantly followed 
by the entrance of a mischievous-looking urchin, about 
six years old, with his hair combed straight over his fore- 
head, and his face shining with soap and water. 

This imp had no sooner taken his seat than he began 
helping himself to everything within reach of his talons. 
I was convinced by this that he was a spoiled child ; so, 


coaxing him towards me with the offer of an orange, I 
planted him on my knee, and, patting him on the head, 
said, " Well, my fine little fellow, and what's your name 1" 

" Samuel Charlton," replied the boy, as demurely as if 
he were answering the first question in the catechism. 

"I have named him Charlton," observed his father, 
with emphasis, " after a gentleman of that name, to whom 
I dedicated the printed copy of a speech I made during 
my mayoralty." 

"I see you're fond of children," said the gratified 
mother ; " Sam takes to you quite naturally. Would you 
believe it, Mr. O'Blarney ?" 

" O'Blarney !" said the urchin, with a grin, " what a 
funny name !" 

" Sweet simplicity !" resumed the good lady ; " would 
you believe it, sir — Maria, do pray take that knife out of 
Izzy's hands — young as he is, he has already got the mul- 
tiplication table by heart ! Sammy, dear, hold up your 
head, and tell the gentleman how much twice nine 

" Ten !" screamed the lad. 

" Oh, fy ! guess again." 





" Eighteen !" 

"Bight, Sam," said his father; "that lad, I'm thinking, 
Mr. O'Blarney, will make a figure in the world." 

I was just about to reply, when a sudden acute twinge 
caused me involuntarily to cry out, " Oh, murder !" and, 
on directing my attention to the part affected, I caught 
the promising Samuel busily engaged in driving his 
father's toothpick into my knee. 

" Dear me ! what's the matter ?" inquired Mrs. Snod- 
grass, with an air of much concern. 

"A mere trifle," I replied, striving hard to look good- 
uatured ; " the sprightly little fellow has been boring a 


hole in my knee-pan, that's all ; but children, boys espe- 
cially, are so engaging at his age ! It s quite impossible 
to be angry with them." 

I thought Isabel would have gone into fits at, this ex- 
planation, which so tickled her brother, who even at that 
early age was impressed with a notion that he was a wag, 
that he played off a variety of other tricks, until at length 
his pranks became so intolerable that his mother, in self- 
defence, was compelled to order him up stairs to bed. 

But here ensued a scene which baffles all description. 
Notwithstanding his mother's coaxings, the brat refused 
to stir ; and, while the nurse was preparing to carry him 
up stairs, freed himself by a desperate effort from her 
grasp, clung to the green baize for protection, pulled it 
half off the table, and brought plates, glasses, and de- 
canters to the ground. 

In an instant all was confusion. The alderman started 
up to save as much as he could from the wreck, but hap- 
pening to make a false step was thrown forward on Mrs. 
Snodgrass, who, upset by the shock of this novel impetus, 
plunged backward with a scream ; while, to make matters 
worse, a tom-cat, on which her husband had trodden, 
roused from a nap on the hearth-rug, dug his claws into 
his calf ; so that, what with the yellings of the cat, the 
screaming of Mrs. Snodgrass, and the astonishment, mixed 
with laughter, of the rest of the group, the scene was one 
of the richest farce I ever remember. 

In about half an hour tranquillity was restored, and the 
alderman, having appeased his wrath by a bumper of 
claret, said, " Y"ou'll excuse what I am going to say, Mr. 
O'Blarney — curse the cat, how she has scratched my leg ! 
— but the fact is, sir, I always make a point of taking a 
nap after dinner ; no matter who may be here, I never 
give up my nap ; but help yourself, don't mind me. Mrs. 
S., you'll take care of Mr. O'Blarney ■" and so saying, 
without further ceremony, the alderman threw himself back 
in his arm-chair, and in a few minutes was fast asleep. 

"Have yourea.d ' Kenilworth ?'" asked Miss Snodgrass, 


as she beheld her father's chin give its first decided bob 
against his chest. 

" I cannot say I have ; my time of late has been too 
much occupied for such reading." 

" That's just my case, Mr. O'Blamey," observed Mrs. 

" La ! mamma, how can you say so ! you know it is 
not a month since you finished the tale." 

" Oh ! true, love, I remember I read it at the recom- 
mendation of my brother the barrister ; and, if I recollect 
rightly — Izzy, don't sit with your legs crossed — there was 
something in it about a grand dinner given at Kenil worth 
Castle, which reminded me, as I mentioned to you at the 
time, of your father's mayor's feast." 

" So Lord George Gilchrist has really arrived in the 
neighbourhood V interrupted Miss Snodgrass testily. 

"Yes," I replied ; "are you acquainted with him V 

" Not at all. I have seen him once or twice ; he is 
quite a young man, apparently not more than thirty." 

"Do you call that young, Maria?" inquired Isabel ; "I 
call it being quite old." 

" Old !" said Miss Snodgrass ; " you don't know what 
you are talking about, child." 

"His lordship must have felt it a great sacrifice to quit 
town at this gay season," I observed ; "and for such a 
troublesome business as an election, too. Of course, you 
know what a London spring is, Miss Snodgrass ¥' 

" I am ashamed to say I never was in London but on 
one occasion, and then for a very short time. For the 
last five years papa has regularly talked of indulging us 
with a trip there, but one thing or other always interferes 
to prevent it. In the first place he hates being put out 
of his way ; then mamma has her objections — " 

" I have objections certainly, Maria. To say nothing 
of the trouble of packing up, and the chance of damp 
sheets in one's lodgings, the expense of a season in London 
is, I am told, beyond what could be conceived." 

(t Expense, my dear madam !" I replied, in no little 


alarm ; " surely you must be under a misapprehension !" 
I then proceeded to expatiate on the advantages of an 
occasional residence in the metropolis ; to Miss Snodgrass 
/.I talked of the agreeable tone of its literary society ; while 
I whetted her sister's curiosity by dwelling on its various 
public exhibitions, balls, theatres, dances, and so forth. 

The bait took as I desired. "O mamma!" said Isabel, 
j umping up, and clapping her hands in ecstacy, " how 
delightful ! Do, pray, let us leave this horrid dull place. 
I shall never be happy till I go to London. There's Mary 
Andrews goes once every spring, and she's a year younger 
than I am. Oh ! I do so want to see all the sights. And 
the dancing, too ! I'm so fond of dancing, you can't think ! 
When shall we set off, ma?" 

Before her mother could reply, the alderman woke up 
from his nap, which was the signal for the ladies' retiring 
into the drawing-room. When the door had closed on 
them, he said, putting on a look of official dignity, " I 
never talk of business before women ; but, now they're 
gone, we can discuss matters at our ease." He then in- 
quired minutely into all the particulars of my reception 
by the committee, complimented me on my address to the 
electors, and vowed that, if he expended his last shilling, 
he would let people see he was not quite the fool they 
took him for. 

Of course I was all admiration of such conduct. " But," 
I added, in my most persuasive manner, " Mr. Snodgrass 
must be aware that in contests of this nature ready money 
was the main desideratum ; if, therefore, he would place 
at my disposal certain sums which were requisite for the 
service of the committee, who had done me the honour to 
place themselves under my guidance, I would stake all 
my Irish estates on the chances of his success." 

This direct allusion to money-matters put the old fellow 
on his mettle. In an instant he was all caution. 

" Ahem ! we'll talk of this to-morrow. Help yourself."' 

"But, my dear sir, consider that in these cases prompti- 
tude is the life and soul of business." 


' •' Trne, very true, but still — " 

"I know what you would say; but remember, sir, the 
old adage, ' Nothing venture, nothing gain.' An election — 
J. will not deny the fact — is like everything else, a lottery; 
nut, in this particular instance, it is a lottery in which a 
prize is all but certain. And what a prize ! To you, sir, 
whose eloquence is so well known, it must be beyond all 
price. I almost fancy I see you rising for the first time 
in the House. Ministers are in despair— the Opposition 
in ecstacies ; while the Times, next morning, in noticing 
your triumphant d6but, says, 'Loud cheers from all parts 
of the House followed the conclusion of the honourable 
member's speech. ' " 

" Enough, enough," said the alderman, in that peculiar 
manner which beti'ays marked satisfaction, while it would 
fain affect indifference ; " nothing, as you say, is to be 
done without ready money," and he acceded without 
further hesitation to my demand ; but then, as if glad to 
get rid of an ungracious topic, he rose from his seat, and 
led the way to the drawing-room. 

During tea-time I took my station beside Miss Snod- 
grass, who had a thousand gossiping nothings to say about 
Lord George and the election, while her father occupied 
himself by poring over the contents of the London news- 

When the equipage was cleared away, my fair neighbour 
went into the back drawing-room, and returned almost 
immediately after with — horesco refer ens ! — a splendidly 
bound album, which she placed in my hands, adding, " I 
am sure you are fond of elegant literature by your con- 
versation, though perhaps you are too modest to say so" 
— it is astonishing what keen insight women have into 
character — " remember, therefore, that I shall depend on 
you for a contribution ; nay, no excuse, you are com- 

" Compromised !" said her father, throwing aside his 
paper, "who says I am compromised?" then instantly 
recovering himself, he added, in a gayer tone, " Pooh ! 
pooh ! my brain is always running upon politics." 


" The choice of subject," continued Miss Snodgrass, 
taking no notice of this interruption, " I leave to your- 
self, though I had rather it should be something in verse, 
for of all things poetry is — " 

" A pack of rubbish," said the alderman ; "if I had my 
will, I'd clap every poet in the stocks ; I never had deal- 
ings with any but one, and he — " 

" I know whom you're thinking of, papa — poor young 
Atkinson, your clerk, whom you dismissed last year for 
setting fire to his bed-curtains. But you shotdd make 
allowances for the eccentricities of genius." 

" Genius, forsooth ! why, the fellow could not cast up a 
sum iu addition. But enough of him. O'Blarney, do 
you play whist V 


"Sorry for that; for Mrs. S. and myself love a quiet 
rubber, now and then. Backgammon V 


" Well, then, suppose you sing us a song or two, Maria. 
Mr. O'Blarney, I dare say, is fond of music.'' 

To be sure I was : indeed, it was quite a passion with 
me — a confession which raised me still higher in the s;ood 
graces of the young lady. 

But let no man vaunt his love of music. It is a dan- 
gerous boast, and never fails to carry its own punishment 
along with it. Miss Snodgrass chirped one, two, three 
Italian airs ; then came a duet with Isabel ; then a French 
canzonet ; and lastly, the well-known " Oh ! 'tis love, 'tis 
love !" sung with a twist of the mouth peculiarly provo- 
cative of that passion. 

But as all sublunary matters must have an end, so a 
termination was at length put even to Miss Snodgrass* 
musical displays ; and at a late hour I quited the Lodge, 
but not before the alderman had insisted on my making 
his house my home, whenever I found it convenient. 




The day of the election had now arrived, and all Hum- 
bug was alive with the hum of thousands passing through 
from the neighbouring villages towards a large field that 
skirted the town, in the centre of which (the Guildhall 
being under repairs) the hustings were erected. 

At the appointed hour the official gentry made their 
appearance, followed by the Tory candidate, Lord George 
Gilchrist, who had no sooner taken his station than a loud 
uproar announced the advent of the great hero of the day 
— Miles Snodgrass, Esq. ! He arrived in imposing state, 
in a carriage drawn by four horses, profusely decorated 
with ribbons. Beside him sat the whole existing dynasty 
of the Snodgrasses, radiant with the colours of the rain- 
bow, and simpering benignly at the crowd which deafened 
them with huzzas. 

And now the great man alights ! The cheers are tre- 
mendous. He ascends the hustings ! The cheers are 
redoubled. Already he is within a yard of his opponent, 
when — oh, death to the dignified and the picturesque ! — 
his foot slips, an irreverent exclamation escapes him, and 
he is precipitated, by the force of gravitation, head-fore- 
most into the arms of an elderly Whig who is eyeing him 
with evident pride through a pair of green spectacles. 
Luckily, no damage was sustained, and, in a few minutes, 
the alderman re-appeared, emerging from the sea of heads 
that blackened beneath him, like Achilles from the waters 
of the Styx. 

When the confusion which this little incident occa- 
sioned had subsided, the rival candidates were proposed, 
seconded, and so forth ; after which, polling commenced, 
and terminated in a majority of ten in favour of Lord 

His lordship first came forward to rei'.'ru thanks- He 


was all smiles and sunshine ; eulogised Church and State ; 
deprecated the slightest innovation on a Constitution 
which was the envy and wonder of surrounding nations, 
and which the wisdom of our ancestors had rendered per- 
fect ; and he would have wound up by a peroration of (no 
doubt) surpassing splendour, had not his eloquence been 
cavalierly abridged by a loud, universal groan, as if ten 
thousand individuals were at one and the same moment 
seized with the colic. 

Mr. Snodgrass followed. " Gentlemen," said he, " gen- 
tlemen, this is the proudest moment of my life (loud 
cheers), for which reason, my heart (cheers) — wherefore, I 
say, gentlemen, I feel it an unparalleled honour to be 
called on by so numerous and respectable a constituency 
to represent the free and independent borough of Humbug. 
Rely on it, if you return me (cheers), I will act only in 
accordance with your interests ; for I am attached to the 
excellences, not the defects, of the Constitution ; for, born 
and eddicated a Briton, I glory in the name (enthusiastic 
applause) ; but, though a — ahem ! — Briton — ahem ! — I am 
attached to the excellences, not the defects, of — I mean, I 
glory in the name of — that is to say, born and eddicated 
a — " Here the worthy alderman paused a few moments, 
evidently overcome by his emotion ; after which, he pro- 
ceeded to state that he was strictly independent in his 
principles, being attached neither to Whigs nor Tories ; 
that he was favourable to a moderate reform, a reduction 
of taxation, a modified system of free trade ; and con- 
cluded, amid loud applause, by saying that, though last 
on the poll, he hailed the omen as being auspicious of 
future victory. 

At the close of this matchless specimen of eloquence, 
the candidates quitted the hustings, and, accompanied by 
the dense crowd, with the exception of a few who lingered 
behind to witness a fight between two bricklayers of op- 
posite politics, made the best of their way back to their 
respective hotels and taverns. 

In England nothing can be done without a dinner. 


The rival candidates, well aware of this, haft each pro- 
vided one worthy of the occasion ; and as evening drew 
on, the effects of such unrivalled cheer began rapidly to 
develop themselves in the speeches of the influential elec- 
tors at the leading hotels ; and more especially in the gait 
and gestures of the bludgeon-men, who kept sallying forth, 
in small parties of two and three, from the lower public- 
houses towards the market-place. 

It so happened, that just as a group of these, composed 
equally of Snodgrasses and Gilchrists, had turned out from 
their respective quarters for fresh air, but in reality for 
an adjustment of differences after the usual electioneering 
fashion, a showman, in the interest, as was suspected, of 
the Gilchrist faction, announced a series of necromantic 
entertainments in the market-place. 

This announcement, from a supposed Tory, was resented 
as arrant presumption by the "Whigs, who insisted on the 
man's instant evanishment. In vain the poor conjurer 
assured them that he was of the juste-milieu in politics, 
and cared nothing for either party ; the Snodgrasses were 
bent upon a row ; upon which the showman, like many 
a temporising politician before him, finding that he could 
make nothing by duplicity, at once threw off the mask, 
and called on the Gilchrists for support. 

When did Briton ever turn a deaf ear to the cry of 
misfortune 1 The appeal was answered on the spot by a 
battle between the two factions, both of whom, being 
reinforced by detachments red-hot from the public- 
hoiises, set to work with the fixed determination, as one 
of the ringleaders observed, of " having it out." 

And now commenced a conflict to which it would 
require the genius of a Fielding to do justice. There 
was not a moment's delay on either side. Legs, arms, 
lungs — each was put into instant, active requisition ; 
heads violated the " fitness of things," by taking up a 
position where heels should be ; bludgeon jarred against 
bludgeon ; sculls gave out hollow sounds like drums ; 
old women and apple-stalls were strewed here committee- 


men and constables there ; while, by way of adding to 
the irproar, every bell in the town was set a-riuging, 
every dog in the town a-barking ; maid-servants squalled 
from the house-tops ; ladies went into hysterics in the 
drawing-room ; cooks resolved themselves into dew in 
the kitchen ; crash went windows, doors, and lamp-posts ; 
down from all quarters came shutters, pails, and bow- 
pots ; up fiew flags, staves, brick-bats, cabbage-stumps, 
dead dogs, cats, and turnip-tops ; until, at length, the 
entiie market-place, from the iDarish-pump in the north 
to the piggeries in the south, was strewed with pyramids 
of bodies like a new-mown field with haycocks. 

Mr. Snodgrass and myself, together with our committee, 
were seated over our wine at the Cock and Toothpick, 
when the tidings of this terrific melee reached our ears. 
At first, we concluded it was merely a slight squabble 
got up to diversify the evening's entertainments ; but 
soon the sounds of war deepened, and presently in rushed 
a waiter with his head bound up, who conjured us to 
save ourselves by flight, as the Tories, having defeated 
the Whigs, were already in full march for the hotel. 

While debating what was to be done in this emergency, 
the landlord staggered into the room, ghastly as a newly- 
shrouded corpse. " Fly ! fly ! save yourselves ; five hun- 
dred of the Gilchrists will be down on us in an instant — 
and the house not insured too !" 

Hardly had these words escaped the poor fellow, when, 
bang ! came a brick-bat through the window, caught him 
in the midriff, doubled him up, and shot him right under 
the chairman. This hint was followed up by a huge 
volley of stones, which had the immediate effect of scat- 
tering us in all directions. Some flew up, and some 
down stairs ; while others, among whom was Mr. Snod- 
grass, dived with incredible agility into the subterranean 
abysses of the coal-cellar. 

As for myself, I sallied out at the back entrance of 
the hotel, and, snatching a Gilchrist shillelagh from a 
drunken Tory who was stretched full-length in the 


gutter, fought my way to the market-place, where the 
very first object that caught my eye was a smooth, 
round, bald-pate popping cautiously in and out of a 
cobbler's stall. The sight of this polished sconce, shining 
in the moonlight, was too tempting to be resisted by one 
in my frolicsome and pugnacious mood ; so, stealing up 
on tip-toe towards the stall, I waited till the skull was 
next popped out, when I let fall my shillelagh upon it — 
quite a gentle pat — but instantly such a shout was set 
up of "Murder!" and "Thieves!" that I had nothing 
left for it but to make a precipitate retreat. 

Meantime, the battle in front of the Cock and Tooth- 
pick continued to rage like a hurricane, and it is hard to 
say what might have been the ultimate consequence had 
not a squadron of Dragoons, who were quartered within 
a few miles of the town, been seasonably apprised of the 
uproar. By the exertions of these warriors, the siege of 
the Cock and Toothpick was raised, and order, with some 
difficulty, restored ; but it is melancholy to be compelled 
to add, that at least a dozen sterling patriots spent the 
remainder of the night in the watch-house. 



Late in the evening, I returned with Mr. Snodgrass 
to Calico Lodge, where he insisted on my taking up my 
quarters for the night. He was in the highest possible 
spirits, full of good cheer, eloquence, and patriotism. 

" Well, O'Blarney," he asked, " what do you think of 
our chance now 1" 

" Nothing can be more promising ; Lord George, I 
have eveiy reason to believe, has nearly exhausted his 

" So they say. Nevertheless, I am not without my 
fears about the corporation. Our canvass in that quarter 


has not been such as I had a right to expect. However, 
the majority, you say, will remain neutral?" 

" Such is the general impression of our committee ; and 
the circumstance of Alderman Slyboots not taking the 
decisive part it was supposed he would, strengthens the 

" Ah ! you know not that fellow. He is a sly, smooth 
dog ; says little, but is always plotting some mischief. 
I disliked the look he gaA^e me when we met on the hus- 
tings, especially when I saw him, shortly after, busy in 
close whispering with Lord George." 

" But are there no means of winning him over ? Sup- 
pose the ladies pay a visit of inquiry to Mrs. Slyboots on 
Monday. I am sure her husband must have caught cold 
from his long exposure to the air on the hustings. By 
the way, if I mistake not, he has a daughter of whom he 
is justly proud ; how lucky that you are on the eve of 
visiting London, and that there is just room in the 
carriage for one ! You understand me, Mr. Snoclgrass ?" 

" Perfectly ; the idea is excellent. And now tell me, 
what did you think of my speech? Egad, I thought 
Lord George looked a little jealous." 

"Particularly when you alluded in such energetic 
terms to your having been born a Briton. He appeared 
quite vexed to think you had anticipated him in that 
noble burst of patriotism." 

" Aye, that idea struck me while I was on my way to 
the hustings. I had always a knack at public speaking. 
I remember old Lord Leatherheacl used to say, ' Take my 
advice, Mr. Snodgrass, and enter the House. A person 
of your eloquence and sound principles cannot fail to 
make a figure. I wish we had many such in Parliament. 1 " 

"The very remark poor Sims was making, when he 
was knocked down by the butt-end of a bludgeon." 

"What, during that dreadful hubbub at the hotel?" 

" Yes, we were just stepping out together to see what 
could be done to restore order, when an Irishman, mis- 
taking him for one of Lord George's voters, levelled him 
by one handsome flourish of his shillelagh." 


The alderman laughed heartily at this account ; per- 
ceiving which, and conscious of the importance of keeping 
him in good humour, I added, " But this was not the only- 
ridiculous incident I met with during the bustle. On 
escaping from the hotel, I turned into one of the more 
quiet streets, when suddenly a dumpy parish beadle, close 
pressed by one of the Gilchrist party, bounded into an 
inn-yard, near which I was standing. Just as he entered, 
a fierce little terrier made a bite at his leg, which so 
alarmed the poor fellow that he turned round and bounded 
back again into the street, coming with his head like a 
battering-ram full tilt against his pursuer, whom he shot 
off the pavement just as you may have seen a sack of 
coals shot out of — " 

Whether there was a particular something in this in- 
vention, or in my mode of relating it, supremely absurd, 
I know not ; but, before I could bring it to an end, I 
turned, and behold ! — the alderman in convulsions ! Such 
a hurricane of hah, hahs ! His whole frame shook and 
heaved beneath the jolly tempest, until, at length, I my- 
self caught the infection, and laughed till I was nearly 

When the storm had spent its strength, Mr. Snodgrass, 
wiping the tears from his eyes, said, " O'Blarney, my ex- 
cellent young friend — oh, how my sides ache ! — you and 
I have not yet taken a glass of wine together. I tried to 
catch your eye once or twice at dinner ; but some com- 
mittee-man or other perpetually interfered. We must 
repair this omission ■" and rising, though not without 
difficulty, from his seat, he rang the bell for the butler. 

In a few minutes, having received due directions as to 
the particular bin in which it would be found, the butler 
re-appeared with a bottle of champagne, at the same time 
placing a small packet of books on the table which had 
just arrived by the coach from London. 

The alderman eagerly opened the parcel, which con- 
tained Hansard's Parliamentary Debates for the two 
preceding sessions. "I have ordered these," he said, " to 


enaLle me to get some insight into the mode of doing 
business in the House. When a man becomes an M.P.," 
he added, with dignity, " he must study, not to please 
himself, but his country." 

" Your ideas do credit to your patriotism, sir. Capital 
wine this — quite a nosegay." 

"You may well say that. Slyboots, who is the best 
judge of wine I know of, would have given me my own 
price for it ;" and the alderman was proceeding to enlarge 
on this favourite theme, when suddenly — owing, I suppose, 
to the excitement of his nerves, and the zeal with which 
he had pledged and been pledged by his committee — his 
eyes began to twinkle and his articulation to thicken. 

At this auspicious crisis I resumed the subject of the 
election. " Mr. Snodgrass," said I, " there are a dozen re- 
fractory voters of whom, to their shame be it said, I can 
make nothing. "Would you believe it, sir, the fellows have 
the face to ask ten pounds each for their vote ! What is 
to be done 1 I am really afraid we must bribe the rascals, 
for it would be a thousand pities to risk all for such a 
trifle. However, you are the best judge." 

"Don't mention it ; you shall have the sum instantly; 
I have set my heart on gaining the election •" and, hurrying 
into the back room, he returned in a few minutes with a 
cheque for the amount, which he requested me to see duly 

" And now," said I, " that this troublesome business is 
settled, permit me to propose a toast. ' Success to the 
Hon. Member for Humbug !' " 

" Hear, hear !" replied the alderman, as if he were 
already seated on the Opposition bench. 

" I really never saw papa so animated before," said Miss 
Snodgrass, who, with her mother and sister, just then 
entered the room. 

Mrs. Snodgrass was about to make some reply, when 
the alderman interrupted her by ringing for a second 
bottle of champagne, which was no sooner produced than 
it was emptied with as much zeal as its predecessor. 


The alderman — accidents will happen to the best of us 
— was by this time in that peculiar state which the ex- 
perienced in such matters have agreed to call " half seas 
over." "My excellent young friend," he began, in a sort 
of muttered, disjointed soliloquy, "you are, without ex- 
ception, the cleverest fellow I ever met with. Ah, Izzy, 
you there ? Why, how the child grows ! No wonder my 
speech made such a hit ! How jealous that Gilchrist was ! 
And to laugh at me too ! Well, let them laugh that win. 
That's- my maxim, and a fine old Tory maxim it is." 

'•' Whig, you mean, sir," I replied. 

" Right, right — I love a Tory maxim. Depend on it, 
sir, the Tories are the only men tit to govern this country." 
Then, in a more solemn tone, while he shook his head with 
an air of uncommon gravity, he added, "Excuse what I 
am going to say, but really, my young friend, I cannot 
help thinking that you are not quite so — you understand 
me. Temperance, O'Blarney, temperance is the life and 
soul of business. Look at me now, I'll do — " 

What the alderman would have done is now a rather 
difficult problem, but what he did admits of more easy 
solution. Overpowered by champagne, and a long-con- 
tinued flow of eloquence, he muttered a few more inarticu- 
late sentences, and then sunk fast asleep in his arm-chair. 

"Papa's exertions," said Miss Snodgrass, who could not 
but perceive the state of the paternal intellect, and wished 
indirectly to apologise for it, " have been too much for his 
strength — I never saw him so overcome before ;" and then, 
by way of diverting my attention, proposed that as the 
night was so calm and the moon so brilliant, we should 
take a stroll upon the lawn. 

To this the more prudent mother objected, alleging the 
extreme lateness of the hour; her opposition, however, 
was overruled, and we all set out together, leaving the 
unsentimental alderman in quiet possession of his arm- 

We walked, as Pope wrote, in couplets. Isabel and her 
mother went first; Miss Snodgrass and myself followed ; 


and, as we rambled together about the lawn, on which 
the moonshine lay as on a carpet of rich green velvet, our 
conversation took a more confidential tone than usual ; 
for single ladies hovering on the dismal verge of thirty 
are not apt to be over-reserved or fastidious when wandering 
alone at midnight with an agreeable and (if I may use the 
expression) a good-looking single man, whoui their parents 
have honoured with their esteem. 

After a quarter of an hour's stroll, during which we 
exchanged a thousand sentimental nothings, Mrs. Snod- 
grass and Isabel rejoined us, with a summons to the 
drawing-room, lest, peradventure, as the careful dame 
alleged, we might catch cold from the heavily-fallen dews. 
Accordingly, we all returned to the house ; and on ascend- 
ing the steps that led to the hall-door, I turned round to 
point out to Miss Snodgrass the effect of moonlight on the 
gravel-walk, when I observed with astonishment that her 
spare, tall figure threw forward a shadow that reached full 
twenty yards down the avenue. 



The next day being Sunday, the whole family attended 
church as usual, with the exception of the alderman, who 
was closeted with me, talking over electioneering matter's, 
and referring every now and then to the Parliamentary 
Register, in which he seemed to take prodigious interest, 
as recognising in it the future, record of his eloquence. 

When the family returned home, he despatched his wife 
and Isabel, as had been previously arranged, on a formal 
visit of inquiry to Mrs. Alderman Slyboots, while he 
himself, knowing there was not a moment to be lost, set 
out on another visit to a couple of Humbug tradesmen, 
on whom, with all my eloquence, I had hitherto made no 


The house being thus comparatively deserted, Miss 
Snodgrass considerately proposed that I should accom- 
pany her to afternoon service at the parish church — a 
proposition with which I was by no means unwilling to 

On our road thither, we were joined by two young 
ladies who visited at the Lodge, and to whom Miss Snod- 
grass introduced me. They were lively, chatty, agreeable 
women, but rather too much so for Maria, who, as I have 
before observed, was predisposed to sanctity and senti- 
ment, and to whose delicate nerves anything like vivacity. 
especially from the youthful and good-looking, gave a 
shock like a galvanic battery. 

The service concluded, our party took leave of each 
other at the church-door, and Miss Snodgrass and myself 
returned to the Lodge, by what she called " a short cut" 
across the fields. 

Our conversation turned of course on the sermon we 
had just heard. "Well, what do you think of our 
minister?" inquired the lady. "He is a great favourite 
with papa ; but, for my own part, I cannot say I like 

The secret of this dislike was, that the Rev. Mr. Jen- 
kins was old, ugly, and had lost half his teeth. 

" If you wish to hear an eloquent preacher," resumed 
Miss Snodgrass, " you should accompany me on Wednesday 
evening to the meeting-house in Pump-street. The Rev. 
Mr. Cant, who officiates there, has the gift of tongues to 
a greater degree than any minister I ever heard." 

" Is he married V 

" Married !" replied Miss Snodgrass hastily. " Oh, dear, 
no ; his only bride is his church, and it is delightful to 
hear him lecture on this subject. His feelings rise so 
naturally from his heart, his language is so appropriate, 
and his voice and manner so persuasive, that I always 
feel myself a better Christian after — " 

" That is impossible, madam," said I, gallantly in- 
terrupting her j " perfection cannot be improved !" 


" All ! you gentlemen are such flatterers. However, 
whatever may be my defects, want of charity, I trust, is 
Mot among the number. By the bye, Mr. O'Blarney, what 
do you think of the two Misses Thompson, who left us 
just now ? They are great admirers of Mr. Cant ; but 
their mode of showing it is so bold and undisguised that 
I am sure it must give pain to a delicate mind like his." 

'• Unquestionably it must ; but, indeed, the Misses 
Thompson, from the little I have seen of them, are just 

" Hush ! I will not hear you say a word against them. 
As for Harriette, though she is decidedly not handsome, 
vet I can assure you she is uncommonly amiable. Emily, 
ioo, is full of vivacity, and, except that she dresses rather 
too much like a girl of sixteen, has a thousand good 

" Heaven knows she has need of them ! for both in 
face and figure, the poor young lady — " 

" Young, did you say 1 You would be surprised if I 
were to toll you dear Emily's age. But no, I will not be 
uncharitable enough to betray her secret." 

" Noble sentiments ! Ah ! Miss Snodgrass, an enlarged 
mind like yours can afford to be indulgent to — " 

" Oh, fy ! Mr. O'Blarney ; not a word against xay 
Emily. I shall really be quite offended if you go on. If 
she does affect that dangerous character, a wit, it is not 
for vis to condemn. But, to turn to a more pleasing 
theme, I have seldom read prettier lines than those 
which you were kind enough to contribute to imy 
album." (I had returned the book the preceding day, 
with some stanzas which I had copied from an old 
pocket-book, entitled " Perfection, a Sketch from Life.") 
" I assure you, mamma considers them quite the gem of 
the volume. Are they really a sketch from life, Mr. 
O'Blarney 1" 

" Wholly so. The original is — * 


"Yourself !" 



" Oh, flatterer !" simpered the lady, patting my arm 
coquettishly with her hand. 

" Yes, Miss Snodgrass, youjndeed are the original ; and 
would that I had the descriptive powers of a Thomson 
to portray that indefinable grace of manner — that richly 
cultivated mind — that classic outline of face — " 

" Is Thomson one of your favourite poets ?" interrupted 
Miss Snodgrass, averting her head, so that I might see it 
in full profile. 

" He is, indeed." 

" I am delighted|to hear you say so ; for his ' Seasons' 
have long been the companion of my solitary walks." 

" Of course, then, you remember his divine sketch of 
Musidora V 


" Ah, Miss Snodgrass, despite what has been so often 
said and sung to the disparagement of our sex, how much 
easier is it to meet, with a Damon than a Musidora ! 
Heal life will often supply us with the former ; indeed, 
at times, in moments of weakness, I have been half 
tempted to persuade myself that in the impassioned, 
and still more in the disinterested nature of Damon, my 
own character was— But how am I betraying myself ! 
Ten thousand pardons, Miss Snodgrass, but really feeling- 
is such an egotist ! As for Musidora," I added, striking 
into a more playful mood, " I am far too much a man of 
the world to venture on the hazardous task of praising 
one accomplished woman in presence of another f and I 
bowed with inexpressible grace. 

We had by this time reached the gates of the Lodge, 
when the fair Maria proposed, as there was just time 
before dinner, that we should take a stroll across the 
lawn towards the summer-house. To this I readily 
assented, and we crossed over to the arbour ; which was 
built in the simplest form possible, contained one small 
bench and table, and was thickly overgrown with para- 
sitic shrubs. 

"Here," said Miss Snodgrass pensively, "while the 


weather permits, I pass hours in company with Cowper, 
Grahanie, or Thomson, The spot, though retired, is far 
from gloomy, for the copse behind us is full of music ; and 
in the long summer twilights, Philomel—" 

"Oh, don't say a word in praise of the nightingale, 
Miss Snodgrass ; it is a distrustful, querulous bird, and 
always lives and sings alone. Trust me, there is no tnie 
enjoyment but in union. You remember, I dare say — to 
return once again to our favourite poet — Thomson's exqui- 
site picture of domestic bliss, especially that passage which 
relates to what the divine bard calls ' an elegant suffici- 
ency.' How often have I thought that where impassioned 
love — . But I am sure I must be wearying you — -" 

" Not at all ; I am never tired of listening to the praises 
of my favourite minstrel." 

" Well, then, often and often have I thought that where 
love, such as Thomson portrays, goes hand in hand with 
' an elegant sufficiency,' the union must realise all that 
man or woman ever yet conceived of happiness. Oh, the 
perfect bliss where two fond hearts blend together as one 
— where the husband's smile reflects its happy sunshine 
on the countenance of the wife — where, if the one is sad, 
the other cannot choose but droop also — where the only 
struggle between them is as to which shall evince the 
fullest and most entire affection — while Time, as he rolls 
over the heads of both, must content himself with mellow- 
ing what he feels he cannot destroy ! Would to God that 
such a lot were mine ! It is not to the cold, heartless 
world that feelings like these are to be breathed ; but, 
if T may be permitted to use such a term, in the presence 
of a congenial spirit, when the scene, the hour, prompt 
alike to candour and feeling ; then, indeed, they may 
with some propriety be breathed, and possibly even for« 
given j" and I concluded in a low, suppressed whisper. 

"Oh, Mr. O' Blarney!" 

"Ah, Miss Snodgrass!" 

" Pray forgive my weakness," interrupted the siiscep« 
tible lady, averting her head ; " but, indeed, indeed, your 


touching picture of domestic — But I am so silly ! What 
must you think of me !" she added, with a faint smile. 

" Forgive, madam ! Nay, it is I who should ask for- 
giveness ! I who have drawn tears from those lovely 
eyes ! I who, agitated and wholly overpowered by a 
passion, pure, fervent, disinterested as ever — " 

" For God's sake, Mr. O'Blarney, be composed ! I must 
not — dare not hear this." 

"Say, then, that I am forgiven." 

" Hush, I implore you, hush ! I hear a footstep. Oh, 
that horrid John !" 

This was said in allusion to the footman, whom we now 
saw advancing towards us. " One word — but one little 
word," I continued, " and I release you from my frantic 
persecution. Say, dearest Maria, idol of this devoted 
heart, say but that you — " 

" Oh, I know not ; ask papa." 

What acuteness women have in all matters relating to 
matrimony ! They absolutely snuff an offer, as Job's 
war-horse snuffed the battle, " afar off." However, I had 
no time to moralise ; for just as I had imprinted a sonorous 
Milesian kiss on the lady's half-averted lips, the footman 
approached with a message from Mrs. Snodgrass, that the 
first bell was just about to ring for dinner. 



Late on the fourth day, to the consternation of the 
Independent party, the election terminated in favour of 
Lord George by a meagre majority of — twelve ! This 
result was chiefly owing to the manoeuvres of the corpo- 
ration, most of whom were Tories, and, though with 
admirable tact they kept their opinions to themselves till 
the proper season came for putting them forth, looked 
on the apostacy ofjrao of their fraternity as a sort of re- 


flection on the whole body. Even Alderman Slyboots — • 
"unkindest cut of all !" — was found among the number 
of Mr. Snodgrass' opponents, and gave a plumper, like 
himself, to Lord George. 

This defeat was a grievous blow to my interests. It 
at once demolished all the fine castles which, for weeks 
past, I had been erecting in the air ; for, by the aid of 
the alderman's influence, I had hoped, not only to esta- 
blish myself among the elite of Humbug, but perad venture 
even to become nearly connected with his family. 

But if my disappointment was great, far greater was 
the alderman's. On him the disastrous tidings burst like 
a thunder-clap. Never once had the possibility of a defeat 
entered into his calculations, so effectually had his pride, 
his ambition, and, above all, his vanity, conspired to mis- 
lead his judgment, and with such persevering flattery 
had I kept alive his wildest fantasies. He had entered 
upon the election, not coolly and deliberately like a man 
of the world, but with all the red-hot enthusiasm of a 
school-boy ; for the time being it was his one engrossing 
hobby ; and for me, as the author of all his agreeable self- 
delusion, he felt, of course, while it lasted, the utmost 
respect and friendship. 

But the spell of my influence was now broken ; and just 
in proportion as I had risen, so did I fall in the alder- 
man's estimation. For one whole week he confined him- 
self to the retirement of Calico Lodge, admitting no one 
to his presence but an attorney, whom he engaged to 
prosecute minute inquiries into the way in which I had 
disposed of certain electioneering sums intrusted to my 
superintendence ; his suspicions being roused by the sin- 
gular circumstance of the election having been lost by 
the very same number of votes whicli he had supplied me 
with funds to purchase ! 

The result of these inquiries was, I soon found out, 
unsatisfactory ; for when I ventured, a few days after 
the election, to send in my card, I was informed that my 
presence at the Lodge was no longer desirable, 


A man of more brass than I can possibly pretend to 
would have insisted at once on being confronted with the 
alderman and his attorney ; but my disastrous diffidence 
in this, as in every other instance, got the better of me. 
I imagined^ too, that by remaining quiet for a time, the 
storm would blow over, and Mr. Snodgrass be brought 
to regard my conduct with a more unprejudiced eye, 
especially as I had every reason to believe I should find 
a warm advocate in his eldest daughter ; so I allowed 
the golden moment to escape, and the sand in the hour- 
glass to run out, till it became almost too late to retrieve 

At length, stung into resolution by the slanderous 
whispers that began to gain ground in the borough, I 
determined, coute qui coute, on obtaining an interview 
with the alderman, which, with some difficulty, and after 
repeated applications, I was lucky enough to accomplish. 

Just as I was turning an angle of the road that led 
sharp round to the gates of the Lodge, I suddenly encoun- 
tered Mrs. Snodgrass on her way on foot to Humbug. 
The good lady recognised me in an instant, but looked 
shy, embarrassed, and more inclined to retrograde than 
advance ; on which, with as much easy assurance as a man 
of my peculiar temperament could muster, I hastened for- 
ward to accost her ; and, after alluding delicately and feel- 
ingly to the unfortunate prejudice which I understood her 
husband had of late been persuaded to entertain against 
me, I observed that I was now, by his express desire, on 
my way to pay him a visit, when I had no doubt I should 
be able to explain everything to his perfect satisfaction. 

The mention of the word "visit" convinced the good- 
natured dame that the quarrel was about to be made up 
between her husband and myself, and in an instant she 
became as friendly and communicative as ever. 

" Well," she exclaimed, " I always said everything 
would be cleared up ; though, to tell you the truth, Mr. 
O'Blarney, the alderman has been in a sad way about 
you. Some one has put it into his head that you've been 


making a cat's-paw of him, though, as I told him at the 
time, 'My dear Mr. S.,' said T, 'what matters it what 
people say 1 they will talk, you know ; so let 'em, and 
when they're tired they'll hold their tongues.' Those 
were the very words I used, Mr. O'Blarney ; for I knew 
you must have a good heart by your taking so much 
notice of Sam." 

'•' Ah, my little playfellow Sammy !" said I, with affec- 
tionate vivacity, " how is the dear little fellow ? It may 
be a weakness, Mrs. Snodgrass, but I never see children 
without feeling my heart warm towards them, as if they 
were my own. And your fair daughters — are they, too, 
in good health 1" 

The old lady shook her head. " Very odd, Mr. O'Blar- 
ney, but Maria takes the loss of the election more to heart 
than even Mr. S. ! I can't conceive what's come to the 
girl. She says nothing except that she is resigned to the 
visitation, and that if it be the will of God she must 
submit. But she was always of a serious turn, you know. 
I'm sure, what with one thing and what with another, I 
have not a moment's peace. There's Mr. S., he does no- 
thing but sit and sulk from morning till night ; I'm afraid 
he's in a delicate way, for he eats a mere nothing to sin- 
nify. In short, Mr. O'Blarney, we're all in a peck of 
troubles. However, I'm glad you're going to clear up 
matters with the alderman. I always said you could if 
you would ; and perhaps, if you find him out of humour, 
you'll just give in to him a bit ; he means well, though 
he's a little hasty. I'm sure, if my good word is of any 
service, you're welcome to it ; for I never will believe any 
harm of a man who is fond of children ; and so I told the 
alderman last night, when he was snubbing you before 

" And did Miss Snodgrass not condescend to say one 
little word in my behalf?" 

" She ! Lord bless you, she's grown as mute as a fish ! 
Between you and me, Mr. O'Blarney" — and here the good 
lady put on an air of uncommon slyness — " I'm afraid the 


girl's had a oall. Sad business ! Mr. S. hates the Me- 
thodists. He says they're enemies to the Constitution ; 
and so they are, for this cant has done a deal of harm to 
Maria. She's not half the girl she was." 

" I'm glad to see that you at least bear up against these 
afflictions, Mrs. Snodgrass." 

" Who, 1 1 Oh, I've lots of trouble too, only I haven't 
time to be down-hearted. Who would look after tli9 
servants, if I were to lay up ? But I must not stay gos- 
siping : so good-bye, Mr. O'Blarney. I wish you success 
with Mr. S. ; but, pray, don't take him up too short, if ho 
should be a little hot at first. It's merely a way he's got ; 
my brother, the barrister, has just the same ;" and, with- 
out allowing herself time to complete the sentence, the old 
lady vanished at a brisk pace round the corner. 

Far different was my interview with the alderman. Six 
publicans, on whose faces tribulation was written at full- 
length, and in the clearest type, were just quitting the 
house as I reached the hall-door — a circumstance which, 
taken in connexion with the sinister glances of the foot- 
man, and the suggestions of Mrs. Snodgrass, convinced me 
that I should have need of all my temper and address. 

No sooner had I announced my name than the servant 
showed me into a small parlour, while he went and in- 
formed his master of my arrival ; and returned almost 
immediately with a bluff answer, which lost nothing of its 
rudeness by his mode of delivery, to the effect that I must 
wait a while, for the alderman was engaged. 

For fully an hour I remained in this state of suspense, 
till at length, when tired of waiting, and I was making 
up my mind to depart, the study-bell rang, and I heard 
the alderman's surly voice in the passage, desiring the 
footman to "send in that fellow." 

On entering the study, Mr. Snodgrass, who was seated 
at the table, neither looked up nor rose to meet me, but 
kept his eyes riveted on the table. His personal appear- 
ance was by no means improved by his late disappoint- 
ment. His face was yellow as a crocxis ; a beard of at 


least two days' growth, threw his chin into what artists 
would call a fine shadow ; and he perpetually shifted his 
position, like a man in a high state of nervous excitement. 
I could not but feel for his situation, and was just begin- 
ning to express my regret at finding him so much of an 
invalid, when he interrupted me fiercely with, " Aye, you 
may well condole with me ; none but an egregious block- 
head would have listened for an instant to such an Irish 
adventurer !" 

I made allowance for this outburst, and calmly replied, 
"Mr. Snodgrass, you do me injustice. I am no adven- 
turer, sir, but a man who, wishing well to the cause of 
good government, has endeavoured to procure for that 
cause the ablest advocate. It was on this principle, and 
this only, that I sought to interest you in behalf of the 
Independent party. I was prepared for a more difficult 
task than I encountered ; for you were already half a 
Liberal when I stepped in to confirm your faith." 

The alderman here started from his seat, and his eye 
happening to fall on a volume of Hansard's Parliamentary 
Debates, which lay with a paper-cutter in the leaves on 
the table, he flung it with violence on the floor, exclaim- 
ing, as he resumed his chair, " Who placed this book here 1 
You're all leagued to drive me mad ■" then, as if recol- 
lecting himself, he added, " What is this matter that you 
say you have to explain 1 Tell it at once, and be off." 

" Language like this, Mr. Snodgrass, scarcely deserves a 
reply. However, to show you that I am not vindictive, 
and can make every allowance for your situation — " 

" My situation ? what do you mean by that, sir ? Think 
of your own. Yet what, after all, is yours compared with 
mine ! I have lost everything. For the money I care 
nothing — it is gone, and there's an end of it ; but where 
is my standing with the corporation? where my borough 
influence? where my character for consistency?" 

" Have courage, sir, and all will yet be well." 

The alderman took no heed of my interruption, but, as 
if unconscious he was overheard, continued, " To be bam- 


boozled, lampooned, paragraphed, and held up to ridi- 
cule by both parties ; a man of my years and station to 
be treated in this manner, and all through the trickery 
of an obscure Irish adventurer — 'tis not to be — Ah, what, 
you're there still, sir ?• laughing, no doubt, in your sleeve, 
at my egregious folly." 

"Folly, Mr. Snodgrass!" 

"Well, wisdom then, if you like it better, for wise 
indeed I have shown myself to be your dupe ! You knew 
from the first I had no chance. But what did that matter 
so long as you could feather your own nest 1 But proceed 
with your story, sir." 

" It is very plain and simple. In one word, Mr. Snod- 
grass, for I perceive you are not in a fit state calmly to 
consider the details of my proposition, I have every reason 
to believe that Lord George's election has been carried 
solely by means of the most notorious bribery and corrup- 
tion ; and that, if you think fit to petition against his 
return, there can be no doubt that the House will decide 
in your favour. To be sure, we are far from immaculate 
ourselves ; but fortunately our manoeuvres have been 
managed with skill and secrecy, whereas Lord George's 
party have been openly boasting of theirs." 

" Well, sir, and what then ? " 

" Merely this — that it remains with yourself to decide 
whether you will choose to affix M.P. to your name or 
not. Your chance is, I am persuaded, better than ever ; 
for the House entertains such a well-bred horror of bri- 
bery, that the mere charge is almost enough to insure the 
condemnation of the luckless wight against whom it is 

" Indeed !" said the alderman, drawling out the word, , 
as if he were half-asleep ; " and pray, sir, for your valu- 
able assistance in this niattei", what further stims may be 
necessary 1 Will another hundred pounds satisfy you V 

" I understand your sneer, and, as an honest man, meet 
it with the contempt it deserves." 

" What ! and have you the impudence to call yourself 


an honest man? Honest, forsooth ! Ha ! ha !" and the 
old savage grinned in my face like a hyena. 

This stung me to the quick ; " Oh, Mr. Snodgrass, Mr. 
Snodgrass," said I — for I could not but perceive that all 
hope of reconciliation was at an end — * it grieves me to 
the soul to see such powers of sarcasm and eloquence as 
you possess thrown away on an obscure individual like 
myself. Reserve it, I beseech you, for those apostate 
ministers whose reduction of the five per cents. — " 

These words wrought quite a talismanic effect on the 
alderman. "Quit the room, sir!" said he; and then 
jerking the bell-rope with such fury that the handle came 
off in his hand, " John," he added, as the servant entered 
the room, "turn this fellow out of the house, and, d'ye 
hear, take care that he never shows his face here again." 

Such language was beyond all bearing. Nevertheless, 
though I resolved the alderman should smart for it, I 
would not lose my temper, but in the mildest possible 
terms continued, " With respect to this election, Mr. 
Snodgrass, which seems to have disturbed that enviable 
and serene sagacity which all who know you appreciate, 
and none more highly than myself, there is yet one way 
left by which I think you may manage to disincumber 
yourseli of the pecuniary obligations attending it." 

In an instant the old man was all attention, and making 
a sign to the servant, who had hitherto been lingering 
near the door, to quit the room, said, " Free myself from 
these election debts, did you say 1 Where — when — how 1 
Explain yourself, my excellent young friend. I am 
hasty, it is true, but always open to conviction." 

" Oh, my plan is scarcely worth mentioning ; it merely 
regards pecuniary matters, which, as you observed just 
now, weigh nothing in your estimation compared with the 
loss of your character for consistency." 

" True, I did say so, nevertheless — " 

" You are anxious to hear it. Be it so, though I am 
by no means sanguine that a person of your distinc- 
tion will adopt it. However, such as it is, it is at your 


service. You may have heard, sir, in the course of your 
long — commercial — experience — " said I, pausing between 
each word, " of — " 

"Yes, yes, very good, go on." 

"Of an — act — entitled — the — Insolvent Debtor's Act 
It is one of singular — " 

" Knave ! swindler ! rascal ! Is it thus you add 
insult to injury !" 

" You complain of your debts. I propose to you a 
remedy. Am I to be blamed for this 1" 

" How dare you, fellow, throw out such hints to a man 
of my character 1" 

" Character, Mr. Snodgrass ! Why, yourself assured 
me just now that you had none left, and, as a gentleman, 
I felt bound to believe you !" 

" Quit the room instantly, sir ! I disgrace myself by 
holding conversation with you." 

" There is no need of bluster, Mr. Snodgrass," said I, 
moving with unruffled dignity to the door ; " I quit your 
house far more readily than I entered it, fully convinced 
that when you have regained your senses, you will do me 
that justice which your blind passion just now withholds. 
Infatuated old man ! where now is that keen political 
foresight which, detecting at one glance, as it were, the 
great public embarrassments that must ensue from the 
reduction of the five per cents., nobly — " 

" The five per cents, again ! By Jove ! I'll — " 

Just at this instant a gaunt, sulky publican forced his 
way into the room, and, after stammering out one or two 
awkward words of condolence, approached Mr. Snodgrass, 
and thrusting forward something that bore the semblance 
of a bill, was just commencing with, " Touching this little 
account," when the alderman snatched the paper from the 
dun's talons, and, throwing it to me, exclaimed, " This, 
fellow, is your affair, not mine. You have had the money, 
and must and shall be responsible." 

" Responsible ! And for your debts too ! No, no, Mr. 
Snodgrass, I have no objection to be just, but I really 
cannot afford to be generous." 


" Wretch ! this impudence surpasses belief ! What, 
have you not had my cheques for the tavern bills, as well 
as for those twelve voters, to not one of whom you even 
paid a sixpence 1 Nay, more, sir, have you not, through- 
out the whole business, been bent on my own ruin 1 Yes, 
sir, my ruin, I say." 

" Not I, Mr. Snodgrass, but the five per cents, have 
been your ruin." 

"Hang the five per cents.!" thundered the alderman. 
" What's that to the purpose, you — " 

"Aye, what indeed?" interrupted the publican, who 
began to tremble for his account. " I shall look to you 
for payment, Mr. Snodgrass. I know nothink of this here 
gemman. These are hard times, Mr. S., and I mean no 
offence, but justice is justice, and law's law, sir ; and so, 
sir," putting on his hat with a vehement thump on the 
crown, " I wish you good-morning, sir." 

"And I shall follow this worthy man's example. 
Possibly, Mr. Snodgrass, you and I may never meet 
again ; I avail myself, therefoi'e, of this opportunity to 
declare that, despite your conduct towards me, which I 
must say has been marked by flagrant ingratitude, from 
my soul I pity and forgive you ;" and I stalked in sullen 
majesty from the apartment. 



Having rarely known a contested election terminate 
without a quarrel among the losing parties, I was not in 
the slightest degree surprised at the alderman's indig- 
nation ; though I had no idea he would carry it to the 
extreme length of holding me publicly forth as an ad- 
venturer and a swindler. True, certain sums intrusted 
by him to me for distribution did not exactly reach 
their destination; but surely this did not justify the 


atrocious placards and paragraphs that now daily appeared 
against me ! The truth is, that in the hurry and bustle 
necessarily attendant on a contested election, the money 
had been overlooked ; but I put it to any man of feeling 
and delicacy, whether, under the peculiar circumstances 
of the case, such an act of forgetfulness was not perfectly 
natural ; or, if an error, whether it were not one of omis- 
sion rather than of commission. 

But I have a better plea to urge than that of mere 
omission. As principal agent for Mr. Snodgrass, it was 
of course necessary that I should make a parade of 
superior respectability— in fact, keep all but open house. 
Now, this could not be done on the weekly pittance I 
received from the Flying Reporter, and I was com- 
pelled in consequence to appropriate a portion of the 
sums received from the alderman; and pray, to what 
more fitting or laudable purpose could I devote his 
money than to secure the interests of his election 1 For 
myself, individually, I neither asked nor received one 
farthing for my labours; they were undertaken solely 
with reference to the public good ; and the reward I 
met with for such heroic disinterestedness was, first, to be 
denounced as a swindler ; secondly, to be dismissed from 
my editorial functions ! 

In this predicament, with a name tainted throughout 
Humbug, and but one paltry hundred pounds left in my 
exchequer, I felt I had no alternative but to appeal once 
more to the sense and justice of Mr. Snodgrass. Ac- 
cordingly, after much deliberation and blotting of paper, 
I despatched an argumentative and pathetic letter to the 
Lodge, to which no reply being vouchsafed, I allowed a 
week to elapse, and then sat down and penned a second 
to the following effect ;-— 

" Wellington-place, Humbug, 1821, 
"Sir, — The pertinacity with which you persist in 
blasting the character and fortunes of one who never 
injured you is, I hope and believe, without parallel in the 
annals of human depravity, 


" In justification of such conduct, you allege that I have 
appropriated to my own use a considerable portion of 
certain sums which you had intrusted to me for election- 
eering expenses. To this vague charge I have but one 
reply to make. Produce your vouchers" (I knew he 
could not), "or else confess that yott have wantonly 
slandered a name which the breath of calumny has never 
yet dared to taint. 

" One or other of these alternatives I feel that I have 
a right to insist on. Should neither be acceded to, then, 
as a matter of course, I shall demand that satisfaction 
which one gentleman never withholds from another whom 
he has aggrieved. 

"You have been pleased, I perceive, in one of your 
numerous placards, to allude in terms far from flattering 
to what you call my 'immeasurable impudence.' Aln 
sir! did yon but know me as I feel that I deserve to be 
known, you would be convinced that, if there be one 
infirmity beyond another which I inherit from a long 
line of ancestors, it is an extreme coyness of disposition 
— a shrinking sensitiveness which has ever stood between 
me and good fortune. Had it not been for this distress- 
ing affliction, I should, long ere now, have clone myself 
the honour of proposing for the hand of your eldest 
daughter, who has already condescended to evince an 
interest in my behalf, which needed but time and the 
sanction of her respected parents to ripen into a tenderer 
sentiment, " I am, sir, 

" Yours, &c, 
"Terence Felix O'Blarney, 

" To Miles Snodgrass, Esq. 

" P.S. — If you could, with perfect convenience to your- 
self, accommodate me with the loan of three hundred 
pounds, till my father's agent remits me my usual half- 
yearly allowance, I shall esteem it an act of courtesy 
more than sufficient to atone for that inexplicable con- 
duct which has so deeply wounded my sensibilities." 


This modest missive, strange to say, shared the fate of 
the former ; on which I despatched a third, wherein I 
specially requested that Mr. Snodgrass would " do me the 
favour to consider himself horsewhipped ;" and, not 
satisfied with this revenge, wrote and printed for general 
distribution a most combustible pamphlet, in which, after 
defending my own conduct during the election, I attacked 
the piiblic and private character of the alderman ; branded 
him as an apostate, a liar, a coward ; and, in short, laid 
about me with such zeal, that Mr. Snodgrass, stung to 
the quick, commissioned his attorney to enter an action 
against me for libel. 

This was the very thing I most desired, for it not only 
afforded me an opportunity of publicly vindicating my 
character, but also of mixing up my case with the great 
question of the liberty of the press. 

But let no man trust to his innocence for acquittal 
by a British jury. Law is a game of hazard, where 
luck decides everything. Within a fortnight from the 
publication of my pamphlet, the assizes took place ; and 
among the trials which engrossed public attention was 
that of " Snodgrass v. O'Blarney," in which, after the 
plaintiff's counsel had inveighed elaborately against the 
licentiousness of the press, and the defendant's had insisted, 
with equal pertinacity, on its perfect freedom as the " Pal- 
ladium of the British Constitution" — both, in the fervour 
of their eloquence, losing sight of the main features of 
the case — the jury brought in a verdict of guilty ; and I 
was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, and a fine, 
which I had no earthly chance of ever being able to 



What a change had the last few days wrought in my 
condition ! But one short month before I was in no 
inconsiderable repute in Humbug ; I was now the pro- 


scribed inmate of a county jail. My position was indeed 
a hopeless one, and the mean, dark, cheerless apartment 
I inhabited was by no means calculated to raise my spirits. 
The walls were constantly dripping with wet ; the floor 
was begrimed with dirt ; and the only furniture con- 
sisted of a rickety wooden chair, and a small deal-table, 
on which lay two or three dogs'-eared tracts. 

" How many last moments," thought I, as, for lack of 
better employment, I turned over the well-thumbed pages, 
" have been spent in communion with these books ! How 
many hot, scalding tears have been dropped on them! 
What a tale their very look tells, of every emotion that 
can raise or depress humanity ! Repentajice has leaned 
on them as her last resting-place on this side of eternity; 
Despair has dashed them from her presence as a curse. 
They have softened the grim features of Death till the 
spectre wore almost a smile ; they have darkened them 
till it were madness to look on his frown. Silent but ex- 
pressive moralists ! would that ye could impart your 
lessons in some more social fashion ! But, alas ! ye do so 
in darkness and in solitude to the wandering 1 rain and 
the broken heart that quit ye only for the scaffold." 

My soliloquy was here broken off by the entrance of 
Mr. Graves, the turnkey, who, affected by my piompt 
munificence — for I had slipped a guinea into his hand 
only the day preceding — came to pro pose to me "a turn " 
in the courtyard, to which I readily assented. 

I found it filled with pi'isoners, chiefly of the male sex, 
some of whom ^ere pacing up and down in groups of twos 
and threes ; others playing at hustle-cap and chur-k- 
farthing ; and others seated on a bench enjoying the 
philosophical luxury of pipes and tobacco. 

While the turnkey was pointing out to my notice some 
of the more notorious among them, which he did with an 
emphasis amounting almost to reverence, we were joined 
by a grave, stout, formal personage, with an enormous 
bullet-head, firmly fixed (with little or no intervention of 
neck) between two massive shoulders. 



This stranger, whom I soon discovered to be a piquant 
mixture of the scamp and the pedant, making me a profound 
obeisance, while a.t the same time he eyed me from head 
to foot with an air of scientific discrimination, expressed 
his regret at my presence in a place so ill-calculated to 
improve my moral or physical condition. " But, sir," he 
added with amazing pomp of manner, " you have the con- 
solation of knowing — no matter what be the cause that 
brought you here — that you are, like myself, the victim of 
destiny. Vice and virtue, sir, are mere matters of impulse, 
as I endeavoured to show in a little treatise I la,tely wrote, 
entitled ' Death the Fulfilment of Destiny,' for which a 
man is no more to be blamed or praised than he is for 
being short or tall, thin or stout. For my own part, I 
have come to the conclusion that, do what we will, neither 
the best nor worst of us can control our actions, being 
alike mere spokes in the wheel of fate ; and that the 
sum and substance of all human wisdom may be comprised 
in this one sentence — what will be, will be." 

" A very sagacious conclusion, Mr. — I beg your pardon, 
but may I ask whom I have the honour of addressing ?" 
I inquired, not a little amused by my new companion's 

"Stubbs, sir — Justinian Stubbs, late professor of lan- 
guages at the Humbug Charity School — a gentleman and, 
I trust I may add, a scholar, who, by one of those sudden 
vicissitudes to which the best of us are liable, has been 
but just subjected to the unchristian persecution of the 

" Indeed !" 

"Yes, sir, the hxmible individual before you has ' fretted' 
— I would add ' strutted,' but the quotation would be in- 
applicable — his 'little hour' in that elevated position." 

"May I inquire the cause of such an accident V 

" Oh, certainly, sir ; I need have no reserves with one 
of your respectability. It was my fate some months since 
to be detected in certain verbal inaccuracies touching the 
amount of a few corporation subscriptions for the Humbug 



Charity School, and to be publicly exhibited, in conse- 
quence, to the gaze of the most unpolished rabble I think 
I ever saw." 

" They certainly did let fly uncommon sharp," interposed 
the turnkey ; " the cabbage-stumps flew like anything." 

"Vulgar beast !" whispered the fatalist. 

"You could scarcely have expected otherwise, Mr. 
Stubbs," I roplied ; " the pillory is no place for the culti- 
vation of the gentilities." 

" Sir, your position is unanswerable. After the most 
impartial consideration I can give to the subject, I find it 
impossible to reconcile myself to the idea that it is either 
an elegant or creditable exhibition. Still, like everything 
else, it has its redeeming points." 

" How so r 

"Why, sir, if it pander to the malignant tastes of the 
oppressors, you must at'leaast allow that it teaches the 
oppressed a lesson of forbearance ; enables him to put in 
practice the precepts of philosophy ; to endure adversity 
with becoming resignation." 

" Sweet are the uses of adversity," I observed. 

" You are right, sir ; and the poet who broached that 
wholesome truth must himself have tasted them in the 
pillory. It is the very Paradise of such sweets," 

" You seem to entertain a very soothing recollection oi 

" And why not 1 On me, sir, the pillory had no effect 
but what was strictly salubrious. Conscious that I was 
the victim of destiny, I bade a philosophic defiance to the 
storm that hurtled round me. Besides, I reflected that 
the pillory was classic ground, and derived inexpressible 
comfort from the consideration that, though I was nearly 
pelted out of all shape there, I yet had not my ears 
cropped, like that illustrious sage Defoe." 

" Why no " said I, with an arch smile, " it is plain they 
are as long as ever." 

"You're a wag, sir, I conjecture ; and inasmuch as a 
little seasonable facetiousness in nowise detracts from, 


but rather gives an agreeable relish to, the grave discourse 
of wisdom, I partake your mirth. By the way, talking 
of such trifles — the by-play of the mind, as the learned 
Helvetius calls them — could you oblige me with a shilling 1" 

The abruptness of this request, following, as it did, on 
the heels of such high-flown sentiments, not a little as- 
tounded me. However, I acceded to the fatalist's petition, 
who instantly left me, with a low bow and a profusion of 

When we met again next day in the courtyard, our 
conversation turned on my late electioneering experiment 
on Alderman Snodgrass, in which Mr. Stubbs found much 
food for condemnation. My resolution to abide the result 
of the trial especially astonished him. " Doubtless," said 
he, "it was a honourable, even a heroic determination, 
but utterly lost, as you now find to your cost, on an un- 
reflecting age like the present. You should have quitted 
Humbug, sir, the instant your degenerate patron had lost 
his election. Of what consequence were the opinions of 
the rabble 1 It is the unerring test of a great mind to 
treat them with a lofty indifference. Speaking on this 
point, the learned Helvetius — " 

" T confess my weakness, Mr. Stubbs ; but society, you 
know — " 

" Society !" interrupted that eminent philosopher ; " talk 
not to me of society, sir. It is diseased to the heart's 
core. There is no moral harmony — no nice adjustment 
of parts — no consentaneousness as a whole, in the present 
state of things. What is our social code but a huge con- 
glomeration of blunders ? Look at me, sir ; I am an 
instance in point. Why am I here ?" 

" Because you can't get out, I suppose." 

" I am here," resumed the fatalist, " because the mental 
abstraction necessarily attendant on philosophic pursuits 
like mine rendered me on a certain occasion oblivious of 
worldly discretion. Aocident was in my case miscon- 
strued into design. Hence the pillory and a year's im- 
prisonment ! But I have one consolation — it could no.ti 
have been otherwise." 


We were here interrupted by the approach of a flippant, 
light-haired, red-faced young fellow, who, taking a cigar 
from his mouth, and addressing me with an air of affected 
courtesy, exclaimed, " Proud to have the honour of your 
acquaintance, sir ; I presume, like the rest of us, you are 
the sport of Fortune. Singular, how the blind goddess 
always persecutes the diligent and the deserving ! How- 
ever, what will be, will be ; a vulgar truism, but not the 
less valuable on that account — eh, Stubbs T 

'• Vulgarity," observed the schoolmaster, taking out an 
iron snuff-box, and offering me a pinch, " is of two kinds, 
physical and intellectual. The physical may be said to 
consist in a perverse indulgence in such habits as have a 
tendency to stultify or brutalise the mind. Now smoking 
is one of these habits ; wherefore — " 

" You are out there, Stubbs, quite out," replied Wilde 
(such was the name of my new acquaintance) ; " I am a 
smoker myself, and have been so for years. Snuff-taking, 
I grant you, is a vulgar habit. I never snuff." 

" Snuff-taking !" rejoined the philosopher; "nothing can 
he pronounced vulgar that tends, in however humble a 
degree, to stimulate the faculties of thought, and — But I 
aee an old acquaintance yonder ; I must go and join her ;" 
and away he posted to recreate his epigastrum with a 
Mass of the best British, or Falernian, as he called it, 
Ehich an old woman, in a scarlet hood, had just smuggled 
eltto the prison. 

No sooner had he quitted us than Wilde, pointing after 
tgaa, said, " There goes one of the biggest rogues in all 
qaglaiul, who, while he grasps you cordially with one 
nsiid, will pick your pocket with the other. He sounded 
vtw depths of mine within ten minutes of our first ac- 
ibaintance, while I was listening to a long story about 

" Bless me !" said I, " I have heard twice of that 
author already. I had no idea he was such a suspicious 

w Then, sir, rely on it, you have paid dearly for your 


knowledge. Stubbs is no advocate for gratuitous instruc- 

"No," I replied, after a diligent examination of my 
pockets, " fortunately all's right. Nevertheless, I thank 
you for your caution ; when I next hear of Hclvetius, I 
will take care it shall be at a respectful distance.'' 

" I am not unreasonable enough," continued Wilde, " to 
condemn our friend for wishing to keep his hand in prac- 
tice — such a wish is creditable to his ambition as an 
artist ; but that he should affect the moralist all the 
while— this, sir, is what enrages me. Confound such 
canting scoundrels ! Give me the knave who has manli- 
ness enough to avow his vocation, I have no notion of a 
man being above his business. For, after all, sir, what 
difference is there between the thief and the conqueror ? — 
between the plunder of individuals and that of nations ?* 
I protest I can see none. But perhaps I am partial." 

" The main difference lies in this, that society binds a 
laurel wreath round the brow of the conqueror, while it 
adjusts a rope to the neck of the thief. I trust, Mr. 
Wilde, you are in no danger of the latter distinction 1" 

" God forbid ! I am, indeed, condemned to undergo — 
excuse my speaking professionally — the last penalties of 
the law for an awkward sort of night blunder, made on 
the premises of Alderman Squarestern last spring (one is 
apt to make mistakes in the dark, you know) ; but, luckily, 
on my trial a doubtful point arose, which induced the 
judge to grant me a respite till he had consulted the 
whole twelve." 

" And can you feel at ease while in such a state of sus- 
pense ?" 

" Suspense ! Nonsense ! My attorney says — " 

"Mr. Wilde, Mr. Wilde," said I, in a solemn but affec- 
tionate tone, " the less you have to do with attorneys the 
better. Rely on it, sir, they are not safe or creditable 
associates for gentlemen of your character. But I beg 
pardon for interrupting you. What about your attorney 1" 

" Why, he assures me that the point in question is all 
but decided in my favour already." 


" My dear sir, I am transported to hear it." 

"No personalities., I beg. I hate that word 'trans- 
ported ;' 'tis a villanous phrase, and should never be used 
among decent folks. Another man, now, would be 
oilended by such an expression; but I am a citizen of the 
world, and take things coolly." 

"And the adventures of such a cosmopolite must be 
well worth hearing. If it be not exacting too much from 
your politeness, may I beg a sketch of — " 

" Oh, certainly, sir ; your request is most flattering. 
At present, however, I can say nothing on the subject, for 
I see Graves yonder preparing to lock up ; to-morrow, my 
history, such as it is, shall be at your service." 

Accordingly, on the following day, when we came out 
for our usual hour's airing, Wilde, true to his promise, 
seated himself on the stump of an old tree, close under 
the wall, and gave me the following rambling outline, 
which I here repeat pretty nearly as I heard it, of his 
past life. 



"I AM a zealous advocate for family pride, which, I 
think, you will scarcely wonder at, when you hear the 
name of the individual whom T have the honour to call 
great-grandfather. By my father's side I can boast no 
illustrious pedigree ; but my mother was lineally de- 
scended from the renowned Jonathan Wilde, and was 
the only sister of four brothers, all men of capacity in 
their line, but all equally unfortunate. The eldest of 
these worthies — pardon my prolixity, but I love to talk 
of my ancestors — was transferred from his happy home at 
Whitechapel to Botany Bay ; the second died of a broken 
heart in Horsemonger-lane ; the third fell a victim to a 
severe cold, caught while gazing at one of the prettiest 


prospects in all Berks from a damp pillory ; while the 
fourth got his head accurately bisected at an Irish wed- 

" By these successive calamities, added to the prema- 
ture death of both my parents, I was left with nothing 
but ten remarkably docile fingers to rely upon for sup- 
port. Luckily, however, there dwelt in my neighbour- 
hood a certain butcher, who, observing what he called 
my ' predicament,' took me into his employment as an 
errand-boy ; and shortly afterward, fancying that he dis- 
covered in me evidences of superior g.enius, despatched 
me to a neighbouring grammar-school, where I soon be- 
came distinguished by my thirst for letters, inasmuch as 
I had got the ' Forty Thieves' and the ' Newgate Calendar' 
by heart — two works which made a deep impression on 
my youthful mind. 

" I had remained but two years at school, when I was 
expelled, together with a lad named Fusby, for tying 
crackers to my master's coat-tail. The joke scarcely 
merited such retribution ; so, by way of revenge, and 
also as a pleasing memento of my school-boy days, I ab- 
stracted the pedagogue's watch and seals ; after which 
I wrote him a courteous but spirited note, wherein I 
assured him that my mind soared far above the idea of 
dependence, and that in future I should look on myself 
as my own master. 

" You will scarcely believe that for this harmless frolic 
I was taken up, tried, tied to a cart's tail, flogged, rubbed 
down with vinegar, put into the black hole to dry, and 
then imprisoned for three tedious months ; at the ex- 
piration of which time, finding myself independent alike 
of money, prospects, and connexions, I was compelled, in 
self-defence, to commence business as a conveyancer. 

" It was at the Surrey Theatre — I linger on the re- 
collection with a pleasing melancholy — that I made my 
first appearance as an ai-tist in this line. The house was 
crowded, and, as good luck would have it, I chanced to 
stand next an asthmatic old man, to whom I imparted 


my suspicious of there being thieves in the house, and 
hastened to prove the fact by decamping with his snuff- 

"This exploit at once got me into repute among my 
contemporary artists, and inspired me with such self- 
confidence that, for upwards of a twelvemonth afterward, 
I wrought successfully, night and day, at my new voca- 
tion ; and one evening, on the steps of the Opera House, 
had the honour of a personal interview with the Prince 

" Indeed !" said I, " how came that about ]" 

" Why, sir, in attempting to ease his Royal Highness 
of a remarkably handsome gold snuff-box, I happened to 
make a false step and stumble up against him ; where- 
upon he turned round with a smile, and made me such a 
gracious bow that I have been the most loyal of men ever 
since. But in jsolitics I was always a Tory, though I 
cannot say I have fingered so much public money as 

Lords E or B . However, a man can but do 

his best. 

" It was at this period of my life that I became ac- 
quainted with the immortal Ikey Singleton. We shook 
hands (strange enough !) in the coat-pockets of a clergy- 
man, who had stuck himself at the back of one of the 
dress-boxes in Covent Garden, and against whom our pro- 
fessional dexterity was at one and the same moment 
employed. Ikey was a great man, sir; still I cannot 
but think he was overrated. Certes, his mode of effect- 
ing transfers was prompt and intelligent ; but it wanted 
originality. You might know him anywhere by his 
style. With his contemporary Slender Billy it was other- 
wise, tie was all versatility, and had the finest concep- 
tion of a burglary of any man I ever met with. 

" But to return from this digression, into which I have 
been led by my respect for departed genius. Scarcely 
had I achieved notoriety by the felonious capabilities of 
my fingers, when my mind, fitted for nobler pursuits, 
began to languish for pre-eminence in the higher branches 


of the profession. Ah, sir ! ambition has been my ruin, 
as it has been that of many a great man before me. On 
sounding my old schoolfellow Fusby on the subject, he 
readily entered into my feelings, and agreed to join me 
in an attempt on a house in Brunswick-square, where I 
had previously ascertained that a rich old bachelor resided. 

"Punctual to the moment, we proceeded to effect a 
lodgment in his kitchen ; but, unluckily, while we were 
ascending towards the drawing-room, a stout scullery- 
girl, unperceived, had watched our motions, assaulted us 
both with her fists in so cowardly and unprovoked a 
manner that we were compelled to make a precipitate 
retreat. Detection was the inevitable consequence. Fusby, 
however, escaped by turning King's evidence; while I 
was tried, convicted, and transferred to his Majesty's 
colony at Botany Bay, where I was immediately placed 
in the service of a Scotch emigrant, who held vast pas- 
turages in the neighbourhood of Sydney. 

" I cannot say much for the society in tbis quarter of 
the globe. Your Australian colonist is, at best, but semi- 
barbarous ; so much so, that whenever I chanced to fall 
in with a kangaroo, I invariably made a point of taking 
off my hat to him, to mark my sense of his superior 
intelligence and respectability. Conceive the innate vul- 
garity of a wretch who could think of nothing better for 
me to do than associate with his own sheep ! Yet this 
was my solo occupation. From morning till night did 
my master compel me to keep company with his merinoes, 
till at length — such is the force of habit — I actually began 
to ' ba-a' in my sleep, as naturally as if I had been a ram. 

" For many wearisome months I submitted to this 
monster's tyranny with the meek resignation of a Chris- 
tian ; but when, not content with making me do duty as 
a sheep-dog, he set me also to superintend the education 
of his pigs — by Jove ! I could stand it no longer : so, 
seizing the first favourable opportunity of flight, I set off 
for Cape How, whence I secretly embarked in a free- 
trader bound for England. 


"The voyage home was long and stormy, and ovu- little 
vessel went staggering over the Pacific just as if she wove 
dead drunk. For weeks together I was constantly drip- 
ping like a parish pump, and knew not what it was to eat 
a meal in safety. You see this scar on my left cheek 1 It 
was made by a fork, which, taking a slanting direction, 
one squally day at dinner, when I was attempting to con- 
vey a small bit of stale pork to my mouth, ran clean 
through, and, I fear, has spoiled my beauty for life. But 
this is a trifle. The worst is to come. 

'■ Late one night I was roused from an uneasy slumber, 
by the cry of ' Breakers ahead !' and, on rushing on deck, 
found the ship in strong hysterics, kicking, and plunging, 
and groaning among a cluster of sharp white jagged rocks. 
Ah ! sir, that was an awful spectacle, worse even than the 
black cap on a judge's head ! The waves ran mountains 
high ; and as each fresh one broke over us, our poor little 
vessel trembled from stem to stern, and finally went to 
pieces ; while I, after floating about some time on the 
fragment of a mast, was lifted up by an enormous billow, 
and hurled far on land in a state of utter insensibility. 

" On recovering consciousness, I found myself stretched 
on a sandy coast, surrounded by a host of peculiarly lo- 
quacious savages, who, as I afterward learned, were dis- 
cussing the interesting point as to whether or not they 
should eat me ! Fortunately, the humane interference of 
one of the chief's wives — I was always a favourite with 
the ladies — saved my life ; and, instead of being cooked 
myself, I was taken up into the country, and set to cook 
for others. 

"Folks in England are in the habit of talking of 
savages as wholly uncivilised. Never was such arrant pre- 
sumption ! They defraud, bully, lie, and make "war 
upon each other, quite as readily as we do here j and, in 
point of manual dexterity, might put to shame the best- 
instructed artist in the metropolis. I assure you, sir, I 
felt quite humiliated to think, after all my practice, how 
much I had still to learn in this respect. 


" You wonder, no doubt, why I quitted such a civilised 
people. My reason was this. When I had remained with 
them the best part of a year, I began to acquire such a 
plump and tempting rotundity as to excite the epicurean 
propensities of the high-priest — a noted cannibal ; and 
not relishing the idea of being served up, hot and smoking, 
at one of his dinner-parties (for he was remarkably hos- 
pitable, and gave capital entertainments), I made no more 
ado, but hurried off to the sea-coast ; where, a few days 
afterwards, I was discovered by the crew of a homeward- 
bound English merchantman, which had put in there for 
fresh water, and safely conveyed to Liverpool ; from 
which place I instantly made the best of my way to the 

" Here, for four subsequent years, my professional tact, 
shai'pened by experience, enabled me to live in comfort, if 
not in affluence. Like my illustrious ancestor, too, I be- 
came the captain of as choice a gang of spirits as ever 
rode a mare foaled of an acorn ; assisted by whom I levied 
contributions on all classes, with an impartiality which I 
shall evei reflect on with satisfaction. But where, you will 
ask, are all these great men now ? Alas ! one languishes 
in the hulks at Woolwich ; another treads the horrid flats 
of Australia ; a third takes compulsory exercise at Brixton ; 
a fourth — but I have no heart to proceed. I must weep 
a while. 

" The rest of my tale is brief. My gang dispersed — my 
person proscribed — my fame blown far and wide — I was 
compelled to quit London and seek some more fitting 
scene of action. This I fondly hoped I had found in 
Humbug. But the eye of the law — or, as our friend 
Justinian would say, of destiny — was on me ; and scarcely 
had I resumed business, when I was taken up, convicted, 
and — here I am. And thus, sir, conclude the adventures 
of the last and least worthy of the Wildes." 




Wilde was in the habit of conversing with me in this 
flippant style whenever we happened to encounter each 
other in the courtyard. As I became better acquainted 
with him, however, I found that he was at best but a 
lively bore, full of levity, which he mistook for wit, and 
without one atom of real moral or physical fortitude. I 
was disgusted, besides, with the rhodomontade spirit in 
which he boasted of his past achievements, just as if, 
under any circumstances, they were not to be deeply 
regretted. Hundreds are scamps from necessity ; but he 
who is a scamp from choice is a wretch whom all men are 
equally interested in persecuting to the death. This is 
one of those sapient moral saws which I owe to my inter- 
course with the casuist Justinian, who, whenever we con- 
versed together on the subject of our mutual acquaintance, 
always shook his head, gravely and distrustfully, as So- 
crates may be supposed to have done when pondering on 
the irregularities of the young Alcibiades. 

Meanwhile the time drew on when Wilde's destiny was 
to be decided, and, unknown to himself, I could detect a 
very visible alteration in his feelings. He began to shrink 
from the society of his former crony Justinian, who, like 
a true Job's comforter, exhorted him to prepare himself 
for the worst ; and he clung more tenaciously to me, with 
whom he held repeated discussions on the subject of his 
chances of acquittal ; and though both of us came to the 
same conclusion — I from good-nature, and he from sheer 
incapacity to brave the worst — still it was impossible not 
to see, from his strange, fitful alternations of mirth and 
melancholy, that an uneasy something was perpetually 
hanging about him. 

One night, by permission of the turnkey, and at Wilde's 
earnest intercession, I accompanied him to his cell. He 


was in rather more equable spirits than usual, abounding 
in anecdotes of his past life, and speculations as to his 
future course of conduct. He was tired, he said, of his 
old habits, and had serious thoughts, if only for the no- 
velty of the thing, of turning over a new leaf. I aj>proved 
highly of his project, and was dwelling on its advantages, 
when suddenly, " Hark !" exclaimed the poor fellow, turn- 
ing on the instant as white as a corpse, " I hear a foot- 

" Nonsense," I replied, " 'tis mere fancy ; or, perhaps, 
they're locking up for the night." 

But the quick instinct of fear was correct ; for, while I 
was yet speaking, we heard a heavy, measured tread, ac- 
companied by the clanking of keys, proceeding along the 
passage. An instant, and the step was at the door. 

" It is the turnkey," said Wilde, fetching a breath from 
the very bottom of his heart ; and as he spoke the door 
opened, and in walked that important official with a 
written paper in his hand. 

I looked anxiously into his face, and saw at once that 
there was no hope. Wilde, too, caught the glance, but 
instantly closed his eyes, and waved off the man with an 
impetuous movement of his hand. 

"Jonathan Wilde," commenced the turnkey, clearing 
his throat with a few solemn hems, "it is my painful 
duty — " 

" Not a word — I will not hear a word. It is false as 
hell, and you know it. Come, come, Mr. Graves, confess 
now you are joking;" and the poor wretch clutched the 
turnkey by his arm like a madman. 

But "the man only shook his head. 

" Liar ! It is — it must be false. Mr. Graves ! my 
best, my only friend, as you hope for ir«ercy hereafter — • 
as you would not have the curse of a dying man on 
your — " Then abruptly breaking off as the word "dying" 
struck, on his half-bewildered brain — "Dying, indeed I 
Faith, this is excellent. Hah ! hah ! hah ! Who's afraid !" 
and he broke out into a fierce laugh, while the bloody 


surging upward to his forehead, gorged the veins there 
till I thought they would burst. 

" Mr. Wilde," resumed the turnkey, " my duty, however 
painful, must be performed. Prepare yourself for the 
worst — you have but two days to live." 

A moment's pause succeeded this awful intimation. At 
length, " O'Blarney," said Wilde, in a whisper, such as a 
curse is breathed in, " take my hat off — quick — quick — it 
binds my temples." 

" Hat, man ! sure, you're dreaming. You've got no hat 
on." But he heard me not. Sense and feeling were alike 
crushed out, and, dashing his doubled fists against his 
forehead, he dropped, as if shot through the heart. 



A few days after this sad occurrence, as, full of serious 
and painful thoughts, I was gazing on the stump of the 
old lime-tree where I had last seen Wilde seated, I was 
joined by Mr. Justinian Stubbs, who, observing my me- 
lancholy, said, "Doubtless, sir, you are thinking of the 
poor young man who made such a disastrous exit the 
other morning. It was a sad business, certainly ; but is 
so far satisfactory, inasmuch as it confirms the great phi- 
losophic axiom, that Avhat will be, will be. Our defunct 
friend, sir, was born to be hanged. Often and often did 
the humble individual who has the honour' to address you 
delicately hint to him this ungracious truth ; but the 
young man, with a thousand estimable, and some few bril- 
liant qualities, was strangely regardless of all that mili- 
tated against his own view of a question. However, I do 
not blame, I only pity him. It was a shocking case. Do 
you take snuff?" 

"You would indeed have pitied him, had you witnessed 
his death." 


" I believe yon, sir ; death is at all times an awkward 
matter, as I showed, and, I flatter mj^self, with some suc- 
cess, in my treatise on the subject. ' Death,' I observed, 
' being the inevitable fulfilment of destiny, it is sheer 
folly to attempt to retard or deprecate its apjDroach.' " 

"Poor Wilde!" said T, interrupting the flow of the 
fatalist's eloquence. 

" You're affected, sir, and your feelings do honour to 
your heart. Nevertheless, it is as well to bear in mind 
that undue feeling is injurious to philosophy, which, after 
all, is but the perfection of phlegm. Besides," added 
Justinian, with wonderful composure, " we must all die, 
you know." 

" True ; and in the majority of cases, death is rather a 
blessing than a curse ; for what is life but a synonyrne for 
sorrow, and the world itself but a melancholy mausoleum 
raised to the memory of blighted hopes and buried loves V 

" Mr. O'Blarney," replied the sage condescendingly, 
" permit me to congratulate you on the exceeding elo- 
quence of your last remark. I confess I am partial to a 
striking, conversational style ; it shows character. But 
enough of this for the present ; Graves is beckoning us ;" 
and, putting his arm through mine, the fatalist and myself 
strolled back to our respective cells. 

In the course of the evening, while I was still sadly 
pondering on "Wilde's melancholy end, my meditations 
were put an end to by a tremendous uproar, and the 
shouts of many hundred voices outside the prison-gates. 
A few minutes after, the turnkey rushed into my 
apartment, breathless with astonishment and conster- 

" Hey-day, Mr. Graves !" said I, " what's the matter 
now ? You seem completely at your wit's end." 

"Matter! Why, that Corn Law business has turned 
all the people's heads, I think. The Radicals have been 
holding a public meeting this morning about it ; and, 
having broken every window in town, and set fire to the 
mayor's house, they have now come up here in a body of 


eight hundred or a thousand strong ; and swear, if we 
don't set all the prisoners free, they'll burn the jail down. 
I'm blessed if I know which way to turn." 

" Have you not sufficient force within to beat them 
off?" I inquired, and my heart leaped with delight at the 
probability of my liberation. 

" .Force ! bless your heart, what can force do against a 
— hark ! there they go again. They're at it now in right 

Knowing well the innate ferocity of all mobs, I prof- 
fered Mr. Graves the most disinterested advice in my 
power, by exhorting him at once to throw open the prison- 
gates ; " Otherwise," said I, " you may rely on it your life 
will be in jeopardy, and it will be but a poor consolation 
to you when dangling from the prison-wall to know that 
you have done your duty. Our first duty is to our own 
necks ; our second, to our country." 

But the man was deaf to my exhortations. " Bless 
your soul," he argued, '•' if I were to do as you — Lord ! 
O Lord ! what shall I do 1 Hark, how they're banging 
away at the gates !" 

" Break open the doors — set fire to the jail — down with 
the parson-justices — no taxes — no Corn Laws — Hunt for 
ever !" thundered a thousand hoarse voices outside the 

These shouts were followed up by a terrific attack on 
the gates. Hammers, brickbats, bludgeons, and huge 
beams of wood were all at once pressed into the service 
of the mob, who cheered each other's progress in the work 
of destruction by repeated huzzas, which were as loudly 
replied to by the prisoners. 

In little more than half-an-hour from the commence- 
ment of the assault, the efforts of the rioters were crowned 
with success. The huge brazen gates groaned, yawned, 
and finally gave way beneath the rush of an infuriated 
rabble, who poured like a catai'act into the jail, bearing 
down all before them. 

My apartment, bejftg nearest to the gates, was the first 



tliey entered. The turnkey made no opposition — indeed, 
from the first he had stood stupified, like one bereft of all 
his faculties ; but holding forth the keys, mechanically as 
it were, thrust them into the hands of the foremost rioter, 
who acknowledged the receipt by a blow which compelled 
poor Graves to salute his mother earth. 

To rush out with the keys, unlock all the cells, and 
then set fire to the jail, were the acts of almost one and 
the same moment. I profited by the confusion, and, 
forcing my way over heaps of drunken rioters who lay 
sprawling in all directions, gained at length the exterior 
cf the prison. 

Here the very first person that met my eyes was tho 
sa<>'e Justinian, who was enlaced in an animated alterca- 
tion with the ordinary, whom he had unscrupulously 
seized hold of by the collar. 

" D — n your eyes, you old cove !" said the philosopher, 
surprised for the moment out of his usual dignified equa- 
nimity, " tip us your castor, and be quick about it •" with 
which words he snatched the hat (a shovel of the first 
water) from the sconce of the astounded ecclesiastic, who 
had barely time to pronounce his opinion of this act of 
sacrilege when he found himself stripped also of his coat. 

" Please your reverence," snuffled Justinian, while he 
hastened to invest himself with the ordinary's coat, and 
offered his own in lieu of it, "exchange is no robbery. 
We have warrant for it in Scripture. But come, O'Blarney 
— Scroggins, I should say — we have no time to lose ;" and 
making a formal obeisance to the parson, who, having 
hastily shoved his hand throiigh the ragged elbows of the 
iaUlist's coat, kept thrusting and driving away with both 
arms in a state of the most hidicrous irritability, we mado 
the of our way to Humbug, just as the fire began to 
mount aloft above the prison-walls. 

Scarcely had we lost sight of the jail, when the loud, 
sullen clangour of the alarm-bell convinced us that the 
authorities of Humbug were on the alert. This induced 
us to pause a while and arrange our future plans, which. 


we were busily discussing, when we heard a heavy tramp 
of horses, and presently a squadron of cavalry, with their 
drawn swords flashing like meteors in the night, came 
galloping towards us. 

There was no time for flight or concealment. The 
soldiers were on us in an instant ; on which my companion, 
with admirable readiness addressing the commander of 
the troops, who had just halted for the purpose of taking 
a close survey of our persons, said, " For God's sake, sirs, 
be quick, or you will be too late ; the jail is already on fire 
in every part ;" and he pointed to where the blazing con- 
flagration towered high up into the sky — a vast fiery 
beacon, seen for miles and miles round the country. 

" Who are you, sir 1" replied the officer. " I have orders 
to stop all suspicious persons." 

" Who am I !" said Justinian, with well-feigned sur- 
prise ; " why, sir, I am the prison ordinary, and this is 
Mr. Graves the turnkey. We have but just effected our 
escape from the rioters, and are now on our way to 

" Enough, sirs, I have no time to hear more. Pass on ;" 
and, giving the word to the soldiers to move forward, the 
officer put spurs to his horse, and the whole squadron 
vanished in the direction of the jail. 

As we entered the town, we found fright, astonishment, 
despair depicted on every countenance. All the shops 
were shut ; the lamp-lights in many of the principal 
streets were smashed ; and in the one large square (the 
West-end of Humbug) groups of urchins were indulging 
in minor matters of mischief, proportioned to their tender 
years — such as pelting stones at the drawing-room 
windows, or at the heads which were every now and then 
thrust out of the upper storeys ; while more than one 
special constable, kept in countenance by the solemn parish 
beadle, who blushed deeper than his scarlet coat at this 
affront to all legitimate authority, looked tamely on. 

When we reached the open space before the mayor's 
house, a far more fearful sight was revealed to us. The 


whole building was one enormous mass of living fire ; and 
beneath its lurid light danced and shouted a band of 
ghastly, half-naked wretches, in the most frantic state of 
drunkenness. Others of the rioters, scarce able from their 
excesses to stir hand or foot, lay wallowing like swine in 
the middle of the road ; and one, in particular, was stretched 
in a pool of red-hot lead, close to the building, writhing, 
shrieking, and blaspheming, like a tortured fiend — his 
teeth clenched, his white shivering lips apart, and his eyes 
in a stony stare, such as is seen in tombs ! 

A groan of horror burst from the mob, as they wit- 
nessed this appalling object. " Save him, for God's sake 
save him !" was the general cry. But not a soul stirred. 
Fear had frozen up the faculties of the whole multitude. 
They stood, fixed and spell-bound, like the statues in the 
Oriental City of the Dead. 

At length, one more intrepid than the rest sprang for- 
ward to where the wretch lay convulsed in his last agonies ; 
but scarcely had he made this movement, when a stentorian 
voice behind him shouted out, " Stand back, the roof is 
falling." The crowd caught up the cry. " The roof is 
falling," roared out one and all. " See, the walls are giving 
way. Stand back, sir, for your life." 

This warning induced the stranger to pause, and casting 
one brief glance upward at the blazing building, which 
enabled him to take in the whole extent of his danger, 
he darted back among the mob just at the moment when 
the walls, after tottering and rochinsf as if under the action 
of an earthquake, came clown with a crash, involving the 
whole fabric in their fall. 

Awe-struck at this catastrophe, I hurried forward with 
Justinian towards the market-place. On our way thither, 
at the bend of a dingy, narrow lane, we saw beneath the 
dim glimmer of a lamp at the door of a small house, a 
forlorn, solitary female figure, sitting with her head buried 
in her hands. Whatever may be my ta.ig-froid as far as 
man is concerned, I cannot, unmoved, pass a woman in 
affliction. I halted accordingly, and, addressing a few 


kinrl words to the poor creature, inquired whether T could 
render her any service ; but she made me no other reply 
than a low moan ; and I was again moving on, when one 
of the neighbours came up, and in answer to my questions 
informed me that the mourner was a widow, whose hus- 
band had been killed in. the forenoon at the riots before 
the Guildhall ; and that from the moment his corpse had 
been brought into her house, she had persisted, despite 
the intreaties of her neighbours, in sitting where we now 
saw her, like one bei'eft of reason. 

This explanation shot a sudden pang to my heart, for 
it brought to my mind my own wife ; while to give a still 
more subdued tone to my feelings, I could hear, as I stood 
listening to it, the merry in-door laughter of the poor 
widow's unconscious children. " What a contrast is here !" 
thought I. " Joy riots within, while a fond, warni heart 
is breaking without ;" and with a sigh, which I could not, 
for the life of me repress, I left the disconsolate mourner 
still sitting, apparently indifferent to all things, at the 
door of the house which contained her husband's remains, 
like Memory keeping watch beside the grave of Love. 

A few minutes' brisk walking brought us to the market- 
place, where some hundreds of men and boys were assem- 
bled, listening to and laughing at the ravings of a half- 
witted religious enthusiast, whom I recollected to have 
seen occasionally among the debto?tf in the courtyard of 
the jail ; and whose imagination, kindled by the scenes 
he had witnessed daring the day, was now venting itself 
in all sorts of prophetic anathemas. " Woe, woe unto ye !" 
he exclaimed, " ye scribes and pharisees ! Ye have been 
weighed in the balance, and found wanting. The hand- 
writing on the wall has gone forth against you. Lo, 
yonder it is graA r en in dark characters on God's own palace !" 
and he pointed with his long lean right arm to the black 
body of cloud which hung in the still air, like a funeral 
pall, above the city. 

He was proceeding in this ivantie style, when a small 
knot of.' special constablesmade their appearance, on which 


tie rabble, true to their own instincts, from tbe clays of 
Jack Cade downward, scampered off in all directions. 
Justinian, too, took the hint, and whispering in my ear, 
"Now that the civil power is beginning to recover its 
senses, we may as well be cautious," drew me away from 
the market-place into one of the long dark streets in which 
Humbug abounds. 



Just as I had passed the memorable Cock and Tooth- 
pick, which stands at one corner of the market-place, I 
Baw a carriage, the dashing panels of which I at once 
recognised as it entered the Inn-yard, and farther on, at 
the distance of about a hundred yards, the plump figure 
of Alderman Snodgrass, who, it was clear, had but just 
reached Humbug, and was busy receiving information from, 
and giving directions to, some three or four tradesmen. 
The unsuccessful M. P. was as full of bustle as ever, talk- 
ing at the very top ot his voice, and turning every now 
and then a wrathful glance in the direction of the prison. 

Though aware of the hazard oi accosting my implacable 
persecutor, I could not resist the temptation, so stood un- 
perceived beneath the shade oi an old wall till the gossips 
had retired, when just as the alderman was iollowing, I 
stepped forward, and, making him the profoundest of bows, 
addressed him as follows : — " I am most happy, Mr. Snod- 
grass, in this opportunity oi again meeting with a gentle- 
man whose discernment and generosity of spirit have, no 
doubt, taught him by this time to do me justice. I hope, 
sir, all the members of your excellent iamily are well ; and 
that the fair Miss Maria — But excuse my enlarging at 
present on this delicate topic ; it is my intention to pay 
my respects to the young lady to-morrow, when I trust 
that my modesty may not again prove a bar to my good 
fortune. You look well, Mr. Snodgrass, whence I conclude 


that the little unpleasantnesses of the election are already 
forgotten, and, above all, that affair of the five per — " 

During all this time the alderman had stood like one 
bewildered ; but no sooner had I mentioned the words 
" five per cents.," than the blood rushed to his face, and 
he gave vent to his astonishment and wrath in such 
broken sentences as, " Well, I never ! Gracious heavens, 
is it possible ! Prodigious impudence ! But you shall 
not escape me this time ;" and, seizing me by the collar, 
he endeavoured to drag me back to the Inn-yard, when I 
freed myself from his grasp, while Justinian, who was but 
a few dozen yards in advance, attracted by the scuffle, 
turned back to offer me his aid. 

His presence did not in the slightest degree daunt Mr. 
Snodgrass, who swore he would not rest satisfied till he 
had again seen me consigned over to justice, hurling, in 
his passion, a thousand coarse epithets, such as " rogue, 
swindler, vagabond," in my teeth ; whereupon, seeing a 
raw-looking constable a few yards ahead, I requested 
Justinian to prevent the alderman's escape, and, running 
up to the man, said, " A re you a stranger to Humbug ?" 

" Eez, I be ; I war only swore in this morning." 

" Well, then, follow me ; I want you to take charge of 
a suspicious character." 

The man obeyed my commands, which were given with 
an air of authority ; and when we reached the spot where 
the alderman was still struggling in Justinian's grasp, I 
said, pointing to him, " Arrest that man. This gentleman 
and myself have proof that he is one oi the incendiaries 
who seb fire to the jail." 

The constable instantly laid i^st hold of Mr. Snodgrass, 
who roared out, " Hold off, villain ! or you shall pay 
dearly for this assault. Do you know who I am 1" 

" Eez ; you be one of the incendiaries like." 

"Rascal, I am Alderman Snodgrass, a county magis- 
trate !" 

" A loikely story, faith !" said the constable, leering et 
me with a knowing wink. 


' : Alcl-orman Snodgrass !'' said I, " how dare you use the 
name of that much respected individual 1 Take him 
away, constable." 

" Aye, away with him," said Justinian, who saw at 
once the real state of the case ; " away with him to the 
watch-honse, and we will follow and give evidence against 
him. Alderman Snodgrass, indeed ! What should a 
person of his rank want wandering alone at midnight in 
this suspicious maimer?" 

During this brief discussion, Mr. Snodgrass kept strug- 
gling and vowing vengeance against all three of us ; but 
the more he roared, the tighter hold the clodhopper kept 
of him ; until at length, despite his magisterial dignity, 
I had the satisfaction of seeing him safely walked off to 
the watch-house. 

For appearance' sake we followed the constable and his 
prisoner for a few minutes, but when we came within sight 
of the Inn we gave them both the slip, and, turning down 
a narrow arched passage, were instantly lost to sight in 
the gloom. 

After threading a variety of lanes and alleys, we reached 
a low, dingy brick building, with a square courtyard 
before it, at the end of which a solitary lamp was burn- 
ing. Here, making a sudden halt, " My friend," said the 
philosopher solemnly, " do you see yon edifice V 

" Yes, what of it 1 It looks like a lock-up house." 

"A what !" replied Justinian, drawing himself up with 
an air of hauteur, " a lock-up house ! Sir, that building, 
meanly as you may be pleased to think of it, is neither 
more nor less than the celebrated Humbug Charity 
School ! Within the walls of that edifice the obscure 
individual before you first projected his ' Treatise on 
Destiny.' I am a total stranger to literary vanity, as 
doubtless you have long since perceived ; but I certainly 
do pique myself on the composition of an essay which has 
for its rsublime object the overthrow of all existing social 
abuses, and the introduction of a more enlightened code 
oi ethics. Hail, consecrated fabric ! within whose — '' 


His meditations were here abruptly put an end to by a 
cry of " Stop thief !" which proceeded from the upper end 
of the street, and was followed by a crowd of boys and 
men, who came rushing forward in the direction where 
we stood. This ominous interruption wrought the same 
talismanic effect on Justinian's nerves that the invectives 
of Cicero wrought on Catiline. His enthusiasm was 
below zero in an instant. Abiit — excessit — evasit — 
erupifc ! — in plain English, he bolted. 

In vain I conjured him to stop, assuring him that there 
was no cause for apprehension. The more nimbly I cried 
" Stop," the more nimbly he shot forward ; while I, 
though a far better hand at running, could with difficulty 
keep up with him, such an impetus had fear given to his 
muscles, and so completely was I convulsed with laughter. 

Away he flew, up this street, down that, and whenever 
he showed symptoms of nagging I kept him at full speed 
by maliciously crying out, " On, on ! they're just behind 
us." Having at length cleared the town, he stopped an 
instant to draw breath ; when, suddenly looking behind 
me, I again exclaimed, with affected dismay, that the 
constables were close at our heels. 

" Oh, mercy !" cried the philosopher, perspiring like an 
alderman in the dog-days ; " it's all over with me, so I 
may as well die here." 

" Nonsense, man ! I tell you we must run for it." 

" Run for it ! Ah ! it's all very well for you to talk 
of running ; but for me, with this weight of — • However, I 
suppose there's no help for it ;" and he made one more 
desperate effort, when, having reached the high-road, he 
shot across it, and thence head-foremost, throiigh a quick- 
set hedge, into some secluded meadows, leaving Humbug 
a few hundred yards behind. 

Here, halting to wipe the perspiration from his fore- 
head, he was beginning to pour forth his plaintive lamen- 
tations, when a spectacle presented itself which, for the 
moment, banished every other consideration iL-om his 
mind. This was no other than the fall, unimpeded view 


— the first time we had yet witnessed it in all its subli- 
mity — of the blazing prison, which, notwithstanding that 
the night was black as the raven's wing, yet brought out 
every house, tree, hedge, and bam throughout the neigh- 
bourhood as distinctly as if it had been mid-day. For an 
instant, all would be gloom, as volume after volume of 
smoke swept across the sky ; and then a broad, red, un- 
interrupted column of light would shoot up into the 
lurid atmosphere, till the very clouds themselves seemed 
on fire. Even from the spot where we stood we could 
hear the hiss and roar of the mighty conflagration, blended 
at intervals with the heavy rumbling of the engines, the 
clang of at least a dozen alarm-bells, and the shouts of 
the rioters, who, as the blazing billows surged upwards, 
and spread over an airy reach of miles, made the welkin 
ring again with their huzzas. 

After gazing our fill on this terrible spectacle, Justinian, 
who had by this time partially recovered his wind, seated 
himself on a hillock, and began to moralise on the subject. 
" A fire," said he, taking a long, solemn pinch of snuff, 
"is a fine theme for philosophic contemplation. I recog- 
nise in it the principle of good struggling with that of 
evil. See, the firemen are endeavouring to put it out. 
They are the representatives of bigotry, who are interested 
in stifling the blaze of truth. But it will triumph in 
spite of them ; for what will be, will be." 

" But you don't take into consideration the poor wretches 
who have lost their lives in the flames." 

" Young man, my philanthropy, I say it with honest 
pride, is altogether on a comprehensive scale. I sym- 
pathise with humanity in the aggregate, not in the 
particular ; for so long as society continues in its present 
sophisticated state, grounding the laws that regulate 
meuru and tuum on the shifting sands oi conventional 
opinion, instead 01 on the immutable rock oi instinct, 
so long will it be the duty of those who, like myself) 
cherish virtue for its own sake, to suspend their sym- 
pathies for individuals, in order to devote them exclu- 
sively to the interests of the mass." 


I could with difficulty repress a smile while the philo- 
sopher made these remarks ; he made them with such 
sublime fervour of manner and intonation. One is pre- 
pared to meet with animation in the young ; but to see a 
fat middle-aged man enthusiastic is as novel and grotesque 
a sight as would be that of a prize-ox starting at Epsom 
for the Derby. 

Justinian was proceeding still further with his sage 
speculations, when, finding that I was beginning to get a 
little ennuied, he adroitly changed the theme, and, lower- 
ing his lofty tone, said, " My friend, pardon the sudden- 
ness of my resolution, but I must here bid you farewell. 
Fain would I proceed, but a certain twitching in the 
calves of my legs — to say nothing of my ribs, which ache 
just as if I had been pommelled with a dozen bludgeons 
— warns me that I must either sink with fatigue, or make 
the best of my way to Humbug. Will you accompany 

" Never ! — the alternative is too hazardous." 

" Oh, as to that, so far as I am concerned, I feel con- 
vinced, notwithstanding my late unaccountable panic, 
which I attribute rather to a deranged state of the nervous 
system than to any inherent lack of moral fortitude, that 
this disguise will afford me quite sufficient protection, 
while you — " 

" 'Tis of no use talking, Mr. Stubbs ; my resolve is 

"And whither does your destiny lead you ?" 

"I know not. Possibly to South Wales, which is 
easiest of access from this neighbourhood, where I shall 
remain secluded till my late adventures are forgotten. 
Bad as it is, I have no other resource left. A licentious 
press has ruined me for ever in this neighbourhood." 

" Arcadian simplicity ! The idea is not amiss in theory, 
but defective, I fear, in—" 

" Practice. Possibly so ; but, to say the truth, I am 
sick to death ot all literary and political turmoil ; so, for 
a season or two, I shall content myself with peeping at 


been an active agent long enough. I now intend te> 
become a mere passive spectator of other men's doings. ' 

" Farewell, then," said Justinian, grasping me fervently 
by the hand ; " not a moment is to be lost : so farewell, 
my friend, for ever ! A few days since, and I could have 
borne our parting with indifference ; but now — forgive 
the starting tear — T feel the man triumph over the 
philosopher ;" and he applied the ordinary's handkerchief 
to his eyes. 

I was not a little astonished at this pathetic ebullition ; 
but before I had time to recover myself, Justinian, who 
had marked my emotion, continued — 

" I see my sensibility surprises you, and no wonder, for 
I am not apt to be thus overcome ; but the truth is, my 
young friend, from the very first moment we met, there 
was a certain something about you that irresistibly won 
my affection !" 

"You are pleased to be complimentary, Mr. Stubbs." 

" No ; I am too sad to be insincere. I thought I could 
sympathise only with the many. Alas ! I feel I have a 
tear for the one. But I hear footsteps : let us hide our- 
selves ;" and, accordingly, we both squatted down under 
the hedge, till a ploughman, who was mounted on a huge 
dray-horse, had galloped past us. When we ventured 
forth from our hiding-place, the philosopher, after again 
bidding me farewell, and straining me to his breast, in 
what he called '•' a long and last embrace," hurried back 
as fast as his legs would carry him to Humbug. 

No sooner was he out of sight than, a strange presenti- 
ment flashing across my mind, I plunged my hand into 
my coat-pocket, and found that this accomplished rascal, 
while busy hugging me in his arms, had actually found 
means to elope with my pocket-book ! I have detested 
the word " philosophy" ever since. 

But other ideas soon diverted my attention. Just as I 
turned to pursue my solitary route, the church clock of 
St. Laurence struck twelve ; and while I yet stood listen- 
ing with, involuntarv awe to the echo of the last stroko 


as it rolled away in the distance, a wild yell of exultation 
caught my ear, and instantly the prison-walls fell in with 
a tremendous crash, while millions of sparkles, followed 
by a dense body of smoke that blackened the entire 
firmament, announced that the work of destruction was 
consummated. Such was the joyous illumination that 
ushered in the passing of the Corn Laws. 





It was on a warm, mellow summer evening, when the 
sheep were browsing on the Black Mountains, and the 
vale of Towy, which lay beneath him, caught a thousand 
glowing tints from the west, that a stranger, manifestly 
young, intelligent, and perhaps handsome, but with his 
expressive features sicklied over with melancholy, stood 
alone, with folded arms and downcast eyes, on the highest 
summit of Llynn-y-van. That interesting stranger was — 
myself! Disgusted with England, I had no sooner quitted 
Humbug than chance, or perhaps that ruling destiny 
which, do what we will, still sways all our motions, led 
my steps in the direction of South Wales. 

As I stood among the lofty peaks of the Caermarthen 
Alps, and glanced my eye abroad over the far-spreading 
landscape of hill and dale, wood and water, sylvan meadow 
and sunlit rock, that lay in unequalled loveliness beneath 
me, all my gentler sympathies were called forth by the 
sight; and I exclaimed aloud, ""Yes, here indeed is a 
Paradise in which even 1 may find repose ! Here, like the 
patriarch of Eld, will I set up my tent, and enjoy the 
sweet solace of pastoral life. Hope, thy visions have 
faded ! Ambition, thy dream is at an end ! On the 
summit of this wind-swept crag, in this saddening twilight, 


I bid ye both farewell ! Lo ! I shake the dust of England 
from off my feet, and descend to pass the threshold of a 
more auspicious clime. Within this secluded valley I 
shall find gentle hearts and unsophisticated heads ; the 
busy slanders of the great world cannot pierce these 
mountain ramparts. Here, then, I may be free from 
persecution and detection. Hark ! the bells from yonder 
village warn me onward. See, even while I speak, day 
drops behind the groves of Grongar Hill !" 

From this high-flown soliloquy, the reader will at once 
perceive that I am a man who can accommodate himself 
to circumstances. I can indeed — and I thank God for 
the fortunate temperament — conform to the peculiarities 
of every position into which circumstances may throw me. 
No mode of life, no turn of thought, comes amiss. With 
the satirist I can sneer, with the good-natured I can laugh, 
with the hypochondriac I can sigh. In fact, it was ever 
my opinion that the golden rule of wisdom consisted in 
being all things to all men. I was now to adapt myself 
to a new fashion of society, and lo ! I felt already pre- 
pared for the change. Strange, that a man so invincibly 
shy and bashful should possess such antipodean qualifi- 

On I went, right down the mountain-side, till I found 
myself trespassing on the boundary-line of a bog, and 
ankle-deep in mud. This would have danrped the enthu- 
siasm of many a les3 resolute pedestrian, especially as 
night was fast blackening around me ; but I was stout 
of heart, and struggled bravely through the morass, ad- 
vancing at the satisfactory rate of two steps back for every 
one I made forward. 

Just as I had reached a bit of elevated ground, which 
afforded me a secure footing, I caught sight of a copse, 
beyond which lay something like a high-road. Scrambling, 
with sore detriment to my hands and feet, through this 
jungle, I at length gained the desired point, where I met 
with a countryman squatted on a hillock, and tying to- 
gether a broken leash, in which he held a goat. 

Had this rencounter, at such aa hour, occurred in a 


more civilised country, I should, as a matter of course, 
have been robbed, murdered, and buried in a ditch, to be 
dug up again a fortnight after in a state of perplexing 
decomposition ; but civilisation has made less progress in 
Wales than in England, for the schoolmaster is more 
domestic, and less abroad at night. 

The man replied to my inquiries by informing me that 
Llandwarrys (such was the name of the nearest village) 
was at least three miles off; but this news, though it 
surprised, did not disconcert me ; so I pushed forward 
again, amusing myself, as I proceeded, with framing shapes 
out of the odd shadows that twilight flung down upon the 
earth. One in particular, thrown by a short, squat black- 
thorn across my path, struck me as bearing a flattering 
likeness to old Snodgrass. 

The last gleam of day had now faded off the horizon. 
There was clearly not an instant to be lost ; so, holding 
on, as well as I could, a mean course between the broad 
ruts — and such ruts ! — of the cross-road, I kept up my 
confidence by anticipating the various comforts that 
awaited me at my journey's end. 

But fancy ill accords with an empty stomach. You 
may blunt grief by reflection, and passion by philosophy, 
but I have yet to discover what mental specific can take 
the edge off a craving appetite. Hunger is not to be 
argued into submission. It is a stubborn Catholic, that 
knows its rights and will maintain them. 

By this time, darkness, with a giant's step, had traversed 
the whole landscape. My very pathway not a -yard be- 
fore me looked dim and doubtful, and, so far from leading 
out of, seemed only to lead me farther into a labyrinth. 

At length, after incredible toil, and a thousand turnings, 
now to the right and now to the left, I was lucky enough 
to stumble up against the low paling of a cottage-garden 
which jutted out beside the cross-road. Availing myself 
of my good fortune, I knocked at the half-open door, and 
was received by the tenants with the usual Welsh hos- 
pitality. The night's meal was just at an end, but the 
friendly cottagers relaid the cloth, and placing a home- 


baked loaf, a lump of cream-cheese, and a jug of delicious 
Welsh ale on the table, told me to commence the onslaught. 

A hungry traveller needs no persuasives ; so I set to in 
a steady spirit of determination, when, having satisfied 
the claims of the gastric juice, I commenced putting divera 
questions touching the distance to Llandwarrys, and the 
possibility of reaching it in time to obtain accommodation 
for the night. 

Not a little to my mortification, I found that I was 
still three miles off, even taking the nearest road, which 
was difficult to find in the dark; I had better, therefore, 
added my informant, wait till the moon-rise, when I should 
be able to find my way to the common, at the farther end 
of which the town was situated. 

This advice was too reasonable to be rejected; I there- 
fore acceded to it at once, and, after an hour's halt, had 
the satisfaction of seeing the first beams of the rising 
moon glimmer in at the lattice. 

"Now," said mine host, "you may proceed with safety; 
but as the first part of your road may perhaps give you 
some little trouble, I will accompany you as far as Llyn- 
ym-dwarrys, when yon will be within a mile of the town, 
and can no longer make a miss of your way." He then 
proceeded to put on a pair of thick wooden clogs, and 
whistling to his dog, which came bounding over the 
garden-fence at the well-known summons, led the way 
down the cross-road. 

It was a fine starlight night, with a brisk wind that 
kept hurrying the clouds in rapid succession across the 
moon's disk, and chequering the landscape with spectral 
varieties of light and shade. Now and then the breeze 
came in sharp, shrill gusts, that whirled the dead leaves 
by hundreds across our path, and brought to our ears 
the hooting of the owl or the trickling of many a shy 

We had held on our course for some two miles or more, 
and I was beginning anxiously to speculate on the chances 
ol a speedy termination to it, when, on rounding the brow 


of a low hill, we at length came in sight of Llyn-ym- 
dwarrys. I have seldom seen a more picturesque land- 
scape than the one now presented to my eyes. Before me 
the country lay open for miles, with every rugged feature 
softened into beauty by the mellow moonlight. Eight 
through the centre of the common lapsed the Towy, form- 
ing, at the most distant extremity, a broad sheet of water, 
like a lake, whose surface, as the quick wind swept over 
it, glistened with a thousand silvery spangles. At a few 
yards from this estuary stood Llandwarrys, conspicuous 
by its one dim, grey church-spire. 

My companion here made a halt. "Yonder is the 
town," said he ; " you have now only to keep straight 
ahead till you reach the churchyard, when you must turn 
sharp round by the yews, which will bring you right 
opposite the Red Lion. Good night, sir. Come, Rhys," 
continued he, whistling to his dog, " We must be quick 
back, or the old woman will think we're going to make a 
night of it at Cevengorneth." 

The lights were still twinkling in the houses of Lland- 
warrys as I passed the churchyard. In a few minutes 
more I had entered the town, and was safely housed in 
the snug sanded front parlour of the Red Lion. What 
luxury was mine at this moment ! Epicures may talk of 
the pleasures of the palate, and poets of those of romance, 
but I contend there is no enjoyment equal to that which 
a jaded traveller experiences when, his day's toil fairly at 
an end, he exchanges two tight boots for a spacious pair 
of list slippers. 



The town, or, more strictly speaking, the village of 
Llandwarrys is situated in the centre of the luxuriant 
vale of Towy. On every side it is barricaded by double 
ranges of hills, the most elevated of which are the Black 



Mountains, whose monarch Llynn-y-van may vie in colossal 
magnitude with the proudest eminences of North Wales. 
The town consists of one long straggling street ; and its 
church, remarkable for a grove of yews that tower like 
majestic mourners above the tombs, stands alone, just 
outside the town, on the verge of Llyn-ym-dwarrys, 
through whose common slowly winds the Towy, spanned 
by a wooden bridge, which nis free mountain spirit 
makes a point of indignantly sweeping away once a year, 
when the winter floods pour down from the adjacent 

The great chai'm of Llyn-ym-dwarrys is its perfect 
rusticity. No Welsh Nash has yet defaced it by Regent's 
Park conceits. It is just what Nature intended it should 
be ; a vast circular carpet of the freshest, greenest turf, 
placed at the base of hills studded with flocks of sheep, 
and sheltering whole villages in their recesses. In one 
part it rises into gentle undulations, on which are perched 
cottages with their pretty strips of flower-garden in front, 
and of kitchen-ground behind ; and, in another, it forms 
shelving declivities, the sides of which, at the fitting 
season, are enamelled with heath-bell ; moss, fragrant as 
cinnamon ; primrose-tufts, whereon the homeward-bound 
bee loves to rest her weary wing; celandine, and the 
creeping wild strawberry-plant. 

Two ranges of hills, as I have already observed, sentinel 
this miniature paradise. The nearest are robed to the 
very summit in Nature's richest drapery, while the more 
distant are abrupt, barren, precipitous, and rear up their 
bluff fronts to the sky, as if disdaining all connexion 
with earth. More aristocratic-looking mountains I never 
yet beheld. 

It was in one of the cottages that adorned this lovely 
common that I took up my abode. Apparently no 
situation could be more attractive or commodious. It 
stood within a stone's throw of Llandwarrys, yet enjoyed 
perfect seclusion. A small but productive garden was 
attached to it,, which, stretching up a little green, sunny 

A bashful irishman. 147 

knoll, afforded a delicious glimpse of the surrounding 

My establishment consisted of a stout lad and lass, 
whom I selected from among a host of applicants for 
their rustic manners and appearance. Both seemed 
models of simplicity — both in perfect keeping with the 
patriarchal character of the valley they inhabited. 

For the first ten days or fortnight my time passed 
wholly to my satisfaction. A stroll about the common — 
to the ivied bridge of Pont-y-kle-kys, to the nearest up- 
lands, or the more distant Grongar Hill, occupied the 
best portion of my mornings ; while my evenings were 
passed in chit-chat with any one whom I might chance 
to fall in with ; and at night my landlord, Mr. Davis, 
would drop in at the cottage, and, over the old national 
relish of a Welsh rabbit, initiate me into the politics, &c, 
of the neighbourhood. 

It was through the medium of this gossip, assisted not 
a little by the ennui which, despite my vaunted ability 
to conform to circumstances, began to creep over me, 
that I got introduced to the club of village dignitaries 
who assembled almost every evening, for the purpose of 
social compotation and chit-chat, at the Red Lion. 

I should previously have mentioned that, owing to its 
secluded site, being full thirty miles distant from the 
nearest English town, wholly removed from the usual 
route of tourists, and holding out no inducements to 
manufacturing or agricultural schemers, Llandwarrya 
possessed all the agreeable strangeness of novelty. The 
majority of its inhabitants — of course I speak not of the 
more wealthy or patrician classes, but of those whose 
occupation or any other cause wedded them to the district 
— were " full of mark and likelihood," and kept the even 
tenor of their way, from the cradle to the grave, precisely 
as their fathers had done before them. 

Shy, sequestered nooks like Llandwarrys are still to be 
met with, or were at least fourteen years ago, - in the 
interior of Wales ; for it is not, like the Highlands, or 


the northern lakes, a country which every one makes a 
point of visiting ; but, to a certain extent, an untrodden 
soil, where a strange face is seldom seen, and where the 
tradesmen and small farmers, wholly occupied with their 
own concerns, busy their heads but little with those of 
the great world. 

The Red Lion, where the club to which I have just 
alluded were in the habit of assembling, was one of those 
snug, old-fashioned inns now so rarely to be met with 
except in the east of England. It had a deep, wide 
brick porch, from whose roof swung a magpie in a 
wicker-cage. This porch opened into a tolerably-sized 
hall, wherein stood an oblong oaken table, grievously 
notched, albeit hooped with iron ; and a few high-backed 
arm-chairs of the same material. Opposite the window 
was the firepilace, within whose ample range four men 
might sit with ease : and on the walls hung, on one side, 
a book-shelf, containing a few odd volumes of Sweden- 
borg's works, and, on the other, a glass case, in which was 
a stuffed salmon reclining at full-length on some bits of 
artificial grass. 

Among those who were oftenest to be met with in 
this cosy outlandish hall was, first and foremost, the auc- 
tioneer — a person who, in an isolated Welsh district, 
usually enjoys great consideration. He was a duck-legged, 
pompous little being, fond of making allusions to a pro- 
fessional visit which he paid to London in the year 1814, 
when lie had the rare luck to see the allied sovereigns, 
and squeeze the horny fist of Blucher. This was the one 
leading incident in his life from which he always dated. 

Next came a half-pay officer ; a grim-looking dog, 
snappish, disputatious, egotistical ; with a dried liver, and 
cheeks sallow and wasted, which went in like the two 
sides of a fiddle, and spread out again at the chin and 
forehead. This warrior, or the "captain," as he was 
commonly styled, held it as the chief article of his creed 
that whatever is, is wrong, and was never so happy as 
when setting people by the ears together. His favourite 


hobby was India, about which, like General Harbottle, 
ho was fond of telling marvellous stories. In person ho 
was remarkably prim ; wore a blue frock-coat, a little 
white at the edges in front, and buttoned close up to the 
throat ; stiff black stock, and boots pieced, but polished 
• — for he prided himself on a small foot — with singular 
attention to effect. On warm sunny days he might be 
seen sitting on the parapet of the Towy bridge, rocking 
his legs listlessly to and fro, humming a fragment of some 
old mess tune, or taking brisk turns up and down the 
bridge, and jerking out an impudent "Hem!" whenever 
a petticoat approached him. When heated with argu- 
ment, he had a trick of giving sharp, irritable tugs at his 

Third in station was the attorney; who exaeted 
respect by virtue of his profession, and who was withal 
so cautious of what he called committing himself before 
court, that, in alluding to any particular individual, he 
never mentioned more than his or her initials. This 
fellow, like his prototype Rondibilis, had the keen scent 
of a staghound for a lawsuit, whence it came to pass that 
he was more reverenced than loved by his neighbours, 
many of whom he had contrived to render singularly 
poetical about the pockets. 

The fourth was my landlord the apothecary ; a good- 
natured, silly creature, blessed with a widowed sister, 
who superintended his establishment, and of whom I shall 
presently have occasion to speak. His chief occupation 
consisted in sauntering about the neighbourhood, with 
his hands in his breeches-pockets, and talking to any one 
who would talk with him. He had projecting eyes, like 
a lobster, with a vague, unmeaning stare, and usually 
kept his mouth ajar — I suppose from a habit he had 
acquired of swallowing every extraordinary story he 
heard or read. 

Lastly, came the curate of Llandwarrys ; an amphibious 
phenomenon, compounded, in nearly equal portions, of 
parson, poacher, and pugilist. He was social and bibulous, 


with a prodigious face, the thickest part of which was 
downward, like a bee-hive, a fist like a quartern loaf, and 
an inordinate love of song. His favourite arietta was 
" Cease, rude Boreas," which, when in fine voice, he gene- 
rally sung right through, with a lavish expenditure of 
wind that might have put a hurricane to the blush. I 
never heard this tempestuous bravura (the parson called 
it an air !) but once, and was deaf for two days afterward. 

A few farmers from the adjacent villa.ges, on their way 
home on market-days, occasionally joined this coterie : 
now and then, too, a traveller from Humbug, or the other 
large towns on the borders, would drop in ; but these 
were merely chance customers, whereas the above were 
regular fixtures at the Red Lion. 

Till within a few months of my arrival, these dignitaries 
had been in the habit of mustering at the Castle ; but a 
slight of some sort or other having one evening been put 
on them by the landlady, a pert, pretty widow, who had 
but recently resigned the office of chambermaid at the 
Pulteney Hotel, Bath, the whole coterie instantly trans- 
ferred their patronage to the B-ed Lion. The consequence 
of this elopement was a schism between the rival land- 
ladies, which, extending more or less to all their depend- 
ants, produced a violent party-spirit in the town, sorely to 
the endamaging of its peace and respectability. 

Such was the state of public feeling in Llandwarrys at 
the time I came to reside there. On my first introduction 
to the Red Lion, I was looked on as a sort of intruder by 
the club ; for, strange to tell, many of the old prejudices 
against the Irish still exist in the more sequestered nooks 
of AVales ; but gradually, by listening to the anecdotage 
of one, submitting to the law laid down by a second, 
laughing at the dull jokes of a third, and adopting the 
opinions of a fourth, I conciliated the good-will of all 




I had now been nearly a month resident at Lland- 
warrys, and the pittance I had been able to preserve from 
the wreck of my fortune at Humbug — independently of 
that portion with which the philosophic Stubbs had 
eloped — was fast dwindling away. My domestics, whom, 
in the innocence of my heart, I had imagined void of 
guile, materially assisted the diminution of my funds. 
Two more assiduous conveyancers never yet carried on 
business in the metropolis. Nothing escaped their 

But this was far from constituting my sole grievance. 
As autumn drew on, the cottage, which, under the in- 
fluence of sunshine and dry weather, I had fancied so 
attractive, became not only damp, but positively un- 
tenable. The walls and ceilings began to thaw, like 
Falstaff in the dog-days ; while that domestic insect 
which Sir J. Banks once endeavoured to boil into a 
lobster took possession of every nook and cranny in my 
bedchamber. To wind up the sum of my household an- 
noyances, a flood one night came down from the moun- 
tains, burst open my pantry-door, and committed a bur- 
glary on all that my servants had left untouched. 

When I rose the next morning, the valley was one 
broad sheet of water. The Towy roared and chafed like 
an angry sea ; and I just reached my ground-floor in time 
to see two boiled fowls swim off in hasty pursuit of a cold 
turkey; and a fillet of veal "clear out" from the lower 
pantry-shelf, for a voyage down the Towy to Llandilo. 

I should observe, in addition to these vexations, that 
my pursuits answered the purpose neither of amusement 
nor utility. My horticultural experiments just sufficed 
to convince me that a man must have an innate genius 
for superintending the education of fruits and vegetables ; 
my reading, which was chiefly restricted to the bulky 


tomes of Emmanuel Swedenborg, served only to bewilder 
or set me asleep ; and when, with rod in hand, I took a 
saunter along the banks of the Towy, T was constantly 
hooking the calf of my leg, jerking my hat into the water-, 
or pulling up a huge weed in mistake for a salmon. The 
fish, I have often thought since, must have entertained a 
very mean opinion of my abilities. 

On specifying these grievances to the apothecary, he 
consoled me by the assurance that they were mere mat- 
ters of course, to which a few months' endurance would 
not fail to reconcile me. But this consideration, though 
well enough so far as it went, had not quite the effect 
that he anticipated. Like the widow in Voltaire, for 
whose benefit the sage Memnon drew up a consolatory 
catalogue of all the wives who had lost husbands before 
her, I r-efused to be comforted ; and by way of effectual 
safeguard, as well from peculating domestics, damp walls, 
solitude, and, worse than all, consumptive finances, I pro- 
posed to the apothecary for the future to take up my 
abode with him. 

For the better enforcement of this abrupt proposition, 
I pointed out the various services I might be the means 
of rendering him in his vocation. I stated that medicine 
had been my favourite study ever since the period when I 
first commenced it, under the auspices of a celebrated 
physician in the county Galway ; that I was conversant, 
in all their forms and varieties, with the infirmities of 
poor, weak, shivering humanity — though I did not for a 
moment presume to compete with him in medical ability ; 
and that, such being the case, I considered it almost a 
matter of course that a mutual connexion would turn out 
profitable to both of us. I concluded with the payment 
of my quarter's rent. 

How eloquent is egotism ! Where is the man who does 
not kindle into enthusiasm when Self is the hero of his 
story 1 ? The apothecary partook in some degree of my 
emotion. In common with the rest of the world — that is 
to say, of that illustrious and influential portion of ifc 


which constituted the club at the Red Lion — he held my 
talents in exceeding respect ; and was prepared to augur 
well of my success in business, from having so recently 
witnessed the skill with which I had converted into 
friends and admirers those who had at first received me 
as an alien and an intruder. 

Still he had his doubts of the propriety of my partner- 
ship project. I was young — I was a stranger — I was 
inexperienced. Granted ; but I was industrious, perse- 
vering ; at home in the theory, if not quite so much so in 
the practice, of medicine ; and was, besides, in possession 
of a recipe (imparted to me by the famous Dr. Killquick, 
of Galway) which had effected the most miraculous cures. 

I saw that the apothecary was staggered by my reason- 
ing, so followed up blow after blow with all the zeal I 
could muster, for I felt that everything depended on per- 
severance ; and, after a week of doubts and demurrings 
on his part, I had the satisfaction of finding my efforts 
crowned with success. Drop by drop, water will in time 
wear out the toughest rock. 



About this time another and more momentous change 
took place in my domestic condition. I allude to my 
marriage with the apothecary's widowed sister — a catas- 
trophe which took place after a month's acquaintance 
with the lady, on an erroneous supposition that she was 
worth money. 

And here it may be possibly urged that I was guilty of 
a grievous backsliding, inasmuch as my first wife was 
most probably still alive. I plead guilty to the charge ; 
but may state, in extenuation, that such was the havoc 
which repeated disappointments had wrought on my me- 



mory, that not till the nuptial ceremony was concluded 
did it occur to me that I had committed bigamy. When, 
however, the dreadful conviction flashed on my mind, the 
shock it occasioned was inconceivable ! 

I should be trifling with the credulity of my readers, 
and militating against the sacred interests of truth — 
which, with me, are paramount to every other considera- 
tion — were I to assert that my second wife realised all 
that a romantic fancy could conjure up of loveliness and 
sensibility. She was neither a Helen nor a Juliet ; and 
for these reasons, which I take to be conclusive on the 
point : — In the first place, she was ancient, irascible, and 
jealous ; secondly, she was as unimaginative as a steam- 
engine ; thirdly, she had a long lean neck, like a vinegar- 
cruet ; and lastly, she was remarkable for her thriftiness ; 
and, when displeased with what she called my extrava- 
gance, was fond of instituting comparisons between me 
and her first husband, which made me, notwithstanding 
my general forbearance, more than once express a wish 
that he and I could change places. 

It was some weeks, however, before my wife's pecu- 
liarities fully developed themselves. For the first fort- 
night or so, she was all smiles and civility ; for her bro- 
ther's business, from the time I took a share in it, and 
began to bestir myself, exhibited such a satisfactory in- 
crease as to enable us to indulge in the luxury of an 
assistant, and even give occasional dinners to our friends 
at the Red Lion. 

It was just about the close of the honeymoon that, after 
trying a variety of Dr. Killquick's recipes with but indif- 
ferent success, I hit upon one of which, from having once 
tasted it, I retained a very vivid recollection. I had ob- 
served that the lower classes of the Welsh, like the Irish, 
were inordinately fond of stimulants, so persuaded myself 
that I had but to hit this prevalent fancy to bring myself 
into repute among them. 

The recipe in question possessed all the requisite ingre- 
dients for notoriety ; so much so, that when I explained 


its character to Mr. Davis, that unsophisticated apothecary- 
opened his mouth wider than ever at the idea of such an 
experiment being tried on Christian bowels. 

"Why, you must be joking, surely!" said he; "the 
dose you speak of would kill a crocodile !" 

" Nonsense ; Dr. Killquick tried it with wonderful sue 
cess in Ireland." 

" Likely enough ; but Wales is not Ireland ; so, for 
Heaven's sake, think better of it." 

But I was deaf to all his expostulations. I was con- 
vinced, I replied, that the experiment would succeed ; 
and justified myself for making trial of it, by the parallel 
case of the celebrated town-quack Dr. Fingerfee. 

O Quackery ! to him who is inspired by thy spirit the 
road to notoriety lies equally open, whether in a crowded 
city or a secluded Welsh district. While Genius trudges 
afoot, and by many a thorny, circuitous route ascends the 
hill of fame, thou bowlest along in thy chariot, and at- 
tainest the same sunny eminence. with scarce an effort. 
Genius is the simpleton who made his pilgrimage with 
raw peas in his shoes ; Quackery, the knave who had the 
sagacity first to boil them. 

The " Infallible Resuscitating Elixir," as I styled my 
new specific, was a medicine composed, in nearly equal 
quantities, of bark, brickdust, gin, and gunpowder, boiled 
over a slow fire, and flavoured with Scotch snuff! Its 
success at first was equivocal ; but, when its virtues had 
been duly insisted on in all the public journals, it brought 
a world of patients of the lower orders to my shop ; and 
1 had the tact to confine it exclusively to them (well 
knowing that your civilised stomach is apt to be fasti- 
dious), just as if it were the balsam of Fairy Bias, whose 
singular property it was to kill one-half of the community 
while it cured the other. 

The neighbouring small farmers . and their serving-men 
were among the first to honour my elixir with their 
patronage. The bark was so bracing, the brickdust so 
cleansing, the gunpowder so stimulating, the gin so pa- 


latable, that, no matter what the disorder might be, one 
ingredient or the other was sure to suit. If the bark 
failed, there was still a chance for the brickdust ; while 
the gin, acting in spirited accordance with the gun- 
powder, produced an internal commotion, which, in cases 
where the gastric juice was languid, wonderfully facili- 
tated digestion. 

To be sure, it was my lot now and then to lose a 
patient ; and once, I recollect, a low, obnoxious, petti- 
fogging attorney died under the potent stimulus ; but, 
singularly enough, his death, so far from proving inju- 
rious, actually did me service. I was looked on as a vil- 
lage Brutus who had destroyed a village Csesar; and 
though I declined the flattering distinction, yet my neigh- 
bours still persisted in giving me the credit of the deed. 
Nay, so grateful were they to me for having rid them of 
an arrant rogue, that a few of those who had most suf- 
fered by him actually talked of purchasing me a piece of 
plate, in commemoration of the patriotic action ! But my 
modesty would not hear of such a proposition. 

One of my most tractable patients was a tippling little 
exciseman, with a polypetalous proboscis, whose counte- 
nance, whenever he stooped to tie his shoe-strings, blushed 
deeper than a mulberry. This annoyed him exceedingly, 
for he fancied himself an Adonis ; so applied to me for 
relief, and I at once prescribed the elixir, together with 
periodical blood-lettings. But, unfortunately, his disease 
was beyond the power of medicine ; for, notwithstanding 
he took a hearty draught every day, and always, as he 
said, felt the better for it, thoiigh " a little sickish at 
first," he grew gradually worse. The gunpowder, I rather 
suspect, disagreed with him ; for he went off one night 
like a shot, after having taken it twice during the night 
in currant-jelly. 

I did not quit this worthy man's bedside until the last 
thread of life was fairly spun out, when, with a doleful 
heart and moralising frame of mind, I made the best of 
my way home. 


It was a dark, moonless night, and my road lay across 
the common, and close beside the yews in the churchyard. 
I know not why it was, but when I neared the old wall 
that bound in the last resting-places of the dead — when 
I heard the wind moan and sigh through the trees, that, 
slowly waving their gaunt arms to and fro, looked like 
fiends holding watch and ward above the charnel-house 
— my pace instinctively quickened, my heart beat quick 
and loud, and a nervous, undefined apprehension of some- 
thing horrible flitted darkly across my mind. Involun- 
tarily I thought of my patients, one or two of whose 
graves lay close underneath the wall which I had yet to 
pass. " If they could rise," said I, endeavouring, but in 
vain, to banish the awful supposition, " from the earth 
wherein they lie lull six feet deep — if they could rear up 
their shadowy forms across my path, what, in the name 
of Heaven, should I do or say ? How convince such 
sceptics that their exit from life was the work oi fate, 
not oi mortal agency % Disembodied spirits, I have heard, 
are — Hah ! whose are those eyes glaring full on me from 
between the chinks of yon tombstone 1 Methinks I should 
know that threatening countenance ! Hark ! is that a 
voice? Fool, 'tis but the wind!" and I rushed home- 
wards with the speed of an antelope. Singular what a 
repugnance medical men have to pass a churchyard after 
dark ! 

I found my wife up and waiting to id; me in, with her 
brow clouded, her eye full of tempest, and her temper in 
a high state of acetous fermentation- 

" So, sir, this is a pretty time for a married man to be 
abroad ! I dare say you will tell me you've been attend- 
ing one of your patients. But I know better ; there's 
my brother has been in bed these two hours." 

Without vouchsafing any answer, I strode past my 
wife into the parlour, where I found the fire just out- 
one or two oi the large cinders having been careiully puu 
aside on the hob — and the rushlight glimmering in its 
socket. At a small deal-table, on which was placed an 


old towel by way of cloth, stood my scanty supper of 
bread and cheese, with a few leeks in a cracked plate, and 
a small jug of still smaller beer, which on emergency 
might safely do duty as vinegar. 

I glanced at the sorry repast with an expression of 
countenance, I fear, in which resignation was less appa- 
rent than disgust. My wife understood the hint, and 
exclaimed peevishly, " You need not turn up your nose 
so, Mr. Fitzmaurice" — such was the alias I had assumed 
on entering South Wales ; " the supper is quite as good 
as you have a right to expect at this hour. But it's no 
use talking — " 

" None in the least." 

" For the more one does the less thanks one gets. Good 
nature is always sure to be imposed upon. Ah ! times 
are sadly altered since poor dear Mr. Evans — " 

"Hang Mr. Evans!" 

My wife took no notice of this smart repartee, but con- 
tinued, " I'll tell you what it is, Mr. Fitzmaurice, I've 
just been looking over our last month's bills, and have 
come to the resolution of keeping no more dinner— What 
do you sit there for, kicking the legs of the table, just as 
if they cost nothing ?" 

" Pray, go to bed, my dear ; this is no time for dis- 
cussing such matters." 

" Aye, that's always the way you put me off; nothing 
I say or do is done at the proper time." 

" Well, well, we'll talk of these things to-morrow. At 
present, I have some medicine to make up ; so light two 
fresh candles and leave me." 

" Two fresh candles, Mr. Fitzmaurice ! where am I to 
get them at this late hour ?" 

" What, are there none in the house ?" 

" None, but a rushlight." 

" That must do instead, then ; so fetch it quickly, and 
go to bed. I'm sure your delicate constitution must 
suffer by sitting up so late." 

Sullenly, and with many an ominous shake of the head 


my wife drew forth a rushlight from the cupboard, and, 
having lit and placed it on the table, admonished me to 
be sure to put it out when I had done with it, a»d quitted 
the room. 

Left to my own reflections, I safc wistfully down — for, 
to eat, and, above all, to digest my supper was wholly out 
of the question — and busied myself in contrasting my 
present with my past situation. I called to mind the 
ambitious dreams that beset me on my first commencing 
my theatrical career : on the hopes which buoyed me 
up on my road to London ; and more especially on my 
connexion with the Snodgrasses, which I had once thought 
would fairly set me on the high-road to fortiine. All 
these had now passed away, and here I was, the child of 
mystery and misfortune — an alias and alien, rooted in 
an obscure, semi-barbarous Welsh village; unable, from 
the peculiar delicacy of my position, to venture openly 
forth again into the world ; and raised from utter penury 
only by my marriage with a skinflint, and my chance 
profits as an apothecary in the healthiest situation in all 

The solemn silence of the hour — the spectral gloom of 
the apartment, lit only by a miserable rushlight, which 
threw its flickering " darkness visible" on walls naked as 
unfigleafed Adam, and old-fashioned mahogany chairs with 
elbows as high as the cheek-bones of a Scotchman — the 
excitement produced by the sudden death of the excise- 
man — the thrilling recollection of the churchyard which 
I had so lately passed ; all these various associations 
deepened my despondency, till, fairly worn out with ex- 
haustion, my head dropped on my chest, my arms fell 
lifeless and flaccid by my sight, and I sunk fast asleep in 
my arm-chair. 

But, alas ! even slumber itself failed to bring relief. 
The grimmest, most fantastic, and most ridiculous visions 
passed and repassed before my mind's eye. I dreamed 
that I was seated in my shop, gazing tipwards at the shelf 
where stood, ranged in due order, a row of elixir-bottles, 


when — whizz ! out flew tlic corks, and out too from each 
bottle popped the head of a defunct patient ! I was 
astonished at their numbers ; but surprise was soon lost 
in horror, for, just as I was attempting an escape, the 
goblins leaped with a bound on the floor, pulled me back 
by the coat-skirts, caught hold of me, this one by the 
legs, and that by the arms, and chucked me head-foremost 
into the mortar. I implored pity, but in vain — the 
phantoms were inexorable ; on which, making a desperate 
effort, I just contrived to lift my head above the vessel, 
when suddenly the ghost of the exciseman — I knew him 
by his nose ! — starting up from the inside of a pill-box, 
forced open my reluctant jaws ; drenched me with my 
own elixir ; and then, with a refinement of cruelty worthy 
of Procrustes, caught up a pestle, and kept pounding and 
pounding away at my ribs, till in the agony of my strug- 
gles I awoke — to find the rushlight just expiring, and my 
wife stooping down beside me to pick up the nightcap 
which I had dislodged from her head. 

" Gracious heavens ! Mr. Fitzmaurice, are you mad ? or 
are you going to murder me by way of gratitude for my 
affection 1 Why, it is now near daybreak, and the rush- 
light burnt out too ! Fitz ! Fitz ! your extravagance is 
past all bearing !" 

Too much depressed to reply, I rose from my seat, my 
limbs stiff with cold, my nerves shaken with agitation, 
and hurried upstairs to bed. 



As I was seated one morning with my wife and her 
brother at a late breakfast, a lad on horseback came with 
a message from a gentleman named Rupee, requesting that 
either Mr. Davis or Mr. Fitzmaurice would instantly 
hasten over to him, for that he had just had a relapse of 


an old complaint, and scarcely expected to survive the 

"Rupee — Rupee ?" said I musingly ; " don't know the 
name. Do you?" turning to Mr. Davis. 

" Oh, yes," replied my brother-in-law ; " it's the old 
bachelor who lives up at the Lodge, about three miles 
hence. He is a shy, whimsical sort of fellow, and with 
the exception of Captain Caustic, whom he picked up 
somewhere in India, is scarce known to a soul in the 
village. I called on him once or twice, at his express 
desire, but could make nothing of him. Possibly you may 
be more successful ;" and so saying, Mr. Davis quitted the 
breakfast-table, and desired the messenger to say that Mr. 
Fitzmaurice would follow him within the hour. 

On reaching Tippoo Lodge, I found the " nabob," as he 
was called, though the day was far from inclement, seated 
in an arm-chair by a blazing fire, with a red worsted night- 
cap on his head, and a flannel dressing-gown wrapped 
tight round him. Close beside him stood a Pembroke- 
table, on which lay a dog's-eared copy of Hervey's " Medi- 
tations among the Tombs," and the last number of the 
Asiatic Journal, with a paper-cutter fixed in the obituary ; 
and on the hearth-rug, at his feet, an ugly, spiteful, wiry 
little terrier, called " Venus," into whose good graces, at the 
hazard of my fingers, I tried in vain to ingratiate myself. 

Mr. Rupee was a thin, adust, spindle-shanked duodecimo 
of a man, under-jawed like a shark, with a low, querulous 
voice, a fishy eye, and a hatchet-face, on which lingered 
one or two dry streaks of red, like the bloom on a stale 
apple. Yet, notwithstanding this apparent fragility of 
constitution, the old fellow was as tough as whipcord. 
People who dry up as they grow old often set death at 
defiance for years. 

On my inquiring how he felt himself, the nabob heaved 
a deep sigh, and said, " Very ill, sir, very ill. I can just 
say I'm alive, and that's all. When I sent for Dr. Thick- 
scull last week from Caermarthen, he told me he feared my 
lungs were affected." 



" Why — I — must — confess— I do see — symptoms of — " 

" Bless me, you don't say so ! I hope there's nothing 
very alarming." 


"Ah, just what I feared ; but is there no hope 1" 

" Permit me to feel your pulse, sir." 

Tremblingly Mr. Rupee held forth his wrist, while I 
counted the pulsations with Mr. Davis' stop watch ; and 
then shaking my head gravely, said, " A little feverish, sir. 
The — the system — " 

" Is breaking up — so Thickskull feared." 

" Not quite so bad as that ; but these east winds are 
evidently too searching for a delicate constitution like 

" My dear sir, you've just hit it. Ah, what a blessing 
is health ! Within the last twelvemonth I'm sure I must 
have drunk out an apothecary's shop ; yet — would you 
believe it?— I feel no better than when I began. It's 
astonishing how I bear up against such a complication of 
maladies 1 Have you taken tiffin yet, Mr. Fitzmaurice 1" 

"Tiffin, sir?" 

" Oh, I forgot you were never in India ; lunch, I. should 
say. I always try to pick a bit about this time of day." 

So saying, he rung the bell, and immediately his butler, 
who seemed thoroughly to understand his master's hu- 
mours, answered the summons by placing on the table a 
tray containing some anchovy sandwiches, and a bottle of 
East India madeira. 

When the man was gone, Mr. Rupee set to work with 
his tiffin, at which he displayed far from contemptible 
V row ess; observing between whiles what a treasure he 
had secured in Roger, who, having accompanied him home 
from India, and being, like himself, a martyr to ill-health, 
was a sort oi privileged domestic. " He is a kind, con- 
siderate creature," added the nabob ; " always so careful 
to prevent my sitting in a thorough draught. And so 
full of feeling, too ! I never heard him bang the door to 
vet. I'm fiUfc I don't know what- I shoulc" do without 


" That madeira is a fine restorative, sir ; it has given 
you quite a colour already." 

" Ah, my dear Mr. Fitzmaurice, that colour you speak 
of is no symptom of health. It's hectic, mere hectic. But 
that's always the case with me. People are perpetually 
complimenting me on my good looks — I remember it was 
the same thing at Cheltenham — at the very moment, per- 
haps, when I'm within an ace of death. But I must con- 
fess I do feel a little better, though I'm too apt to be 

I forget what reply I made, but it was something that 
mightily pleased the nabob. Indeed, I very soon found 
out the way to ingratiate myself with him, which was by 
listening attentively to the prolix catalogue of his mala- 
dies. Men who live in solitude are necessarily arrant 
egotists. Mr. Rupee was the greatest I ever met with ; 
but then in proportion to his egotism was his esteem for 
those who could put up with it. 

I stayed with the old proser about half-an-hour, chiefly 
busied in giving him directions (as agreed on with Mr. 
Davis) for the future management of his constitution ; 
which done, I took my leave, when, j ust as I was closing 
the door, he called me back, and said, " I may depend, 
then, on seeing you to-morrow, Mr. Fitzmaurice — that is, 
if I happen to survive the night ? Perhaps, also, you will 
stop and dine with me. Caustic will be here. He's an 
old Indian chum of mine — a little bit of a croaker \ but 
we have all of us our weak side." 

I replied in the affirmative ; on which he half-rose to 
wish me good morning, at the same time requesting me 
to shut all the doors after me. 

Next day, at the appointed hour, I made my appear- 
ance at the Lodge, where I found the captain already 
arrived, lounging up and down the gravel-walk with the 
nabob. It was curious to mark the contrast of character 
that these two originals presented. Though both were 
hypochondriacal, yet both showed it in a different way. 
The nabob's grievances were of a plaintive, subdued cast ; 
the captain's took an irascible, domineering turn. The 


one was discontented from, fancied ill-health ; the other 
from straitened finances — which confined him, sorely 
against his inclination, to the inglorious solitude of a Welsh 

"A fine day, gentlemen," said I, advancing towards 

" Humph ! " replied Caustic ; " well enough for Wales." 

" You must find this snatch of sunshine very agreeable, 
Mr. Rupee." 

" Sunshine ! " retorted the captain, pointing towards the 
western mountains, above which the orb was stooping ; 
" do you call that thing a sun 1 Why, sir, it has not 
strength enough to blister a gooseberry-bush. God, how 
cold it is !" and he made off with all speed into the dining- 
room, just as Roger came up to summon us to table. 

I forbear to describe the particulars of the dinner. 
Suffice it to say, that, notwithstanding my remonstrances, 
Mr. Rupee insisted on fixing me with my back to the 
fire ; and, what was still worse, directed my particular 
attention to a dish of curry ; and when, rather too cava- 
lierly perhaps, I declared my indifference to it, " What, 
no curry ! " said he, in a tone of astonishment. " No 
curry ! " chorused the captain ; and instantly I fancied I 
saw a look of contemptuous commiseration exchanged 
between them. 

When the dinner was at an end, the nabob began to 
catechise me on the subject of the vale of Towy, whose 
salubrity, he said, had been warmly insisted on by both 
his medical men ; on which Caustic observed — 

" Employ two medical men ! I wonder you're alive to 
tell the tale ! But you will not persuade me that you 
settled here solely for your health's sake." 

"Not altogether. My chief inducement was the cir- 
cumstance of my having been born in the valley. Ah, 
Mr. Fitzmaurice ! when, five-and-forty years ago, I scaled 
the summit of those hills behind us, I little thought the 
time would ever arrive when I should be compelled to 
creep like a snail about their base. I never feared an 


east wind then. But the climate's nothing like what it 
used to be. The very people are changed — and for the 
worse, too ; so that, notwithstanding my inclinations, I'm 
afraid I must hurry back to Cheltenham." 

"Cheltenham !" said I, not a little alanned at the idea 
of losing such a promising patient, otherwise than in a 
professional fashion ; " my dear, dear sir, you must be mad 
to dream of such a thing." 

"Why so?" 

" Why, sir," I replied, a bright idea suggesting itself on 
the spur of the moment, " a medical friend of mine writes 
me word that the influenza is raging there to a most 
alarming extent, and proves particularly fatal to those 
whose constitutions have been debilitated by a residence 
in the East. Out of ten Indian patients, he assures me, 
he has had the misfortune to lose not less than seven." 

" Bless me, how fortunate that I have been told of this 
in time ! The influenza ! Of all disorders, the one of 
which I have the greatest horror. I remember — " 

" Pass the bottle, Bupee," said the captain impatiently ; 
" this wine is of the right sort. Do you recollect Major 
Tipple 1 The last time I tasted madeira like this was at 
his quarters at Calcutta, the night he played Borneo so 
admirably at our private theatricals." 

" Ah, poor Tipple ! I recollect him well. He was a 
good-natured fellow ; no one's enemy but his own." 

" Yes ; and what a devil among the women ! But E 
say, Rupee, if I mistake not, you've indulged a little in 
that line yourself. But you were always a sly dog, close 
as wax, no getting anything out of you." 

" He ! he !" faintly simpered the nabob ; "you are so 
facetious, captain ; such a wag. He ! he ! he ! But I 
have done with all those follies now." 

I have generally remarked that men who have spent 
the best part of their lives in the East have but three 
leading topics of conversation — wine, women, and the 
jungle-fever. Now these, together with a few supple- 
mental ones, such as tiger-hunts, private theatricals, &c, 


having been fully discussed, I imagined that I might pos- 
sibly slide in a word — for hitherto I had been little better 
than a listener ; so T inquired of Mr. Rupee whether he 
had read the Observer of the preceding week, containing 
full particulars of his Majesty's landing and reception in 
Ireland, and the presentation of Mr. O'Cromwell at 

" The devil's in it," thought I, " if the illustrious Agi- 
tator can remind either the one or the other of any old 
Indian crony, for he is a phenomenon restricted to the 
Emerald Isle." But I reckoned without my host. The 
name O'Cromwell reminded Captain Caustic of an Ensign 
O'Cromwell, who was shot in a duel on the ramparts at 
Sincapore ; and this again brought on an inquiry from 
Mr. Rupee, as to whether that was the same O'Cromwell 
who had distinguished himself so highly at Seringapatam. 

From the moment that the ominoiis word "Seringa- 
patam" escaped the nabob, I foresaw that Caustic, like my 
Uncle Toby at Dendermond, would indulge me with the 
full particulars of the siege ; so, in order to extricate my- 
self from the infliction, 1 said — such assurance will despe- 
ration lend even the most modest of men ! — " I am going 
to make a very bold request, Mr. Rupee, but will you 
favour us with that charming Welsh air, 'Ayr-hyd-yr- 
nos V If I mistake not, it is admirably adapted to your 
style of voice." 

The captain laughed outright at this proposition. 
"What, Rupee sing !" said he ; "why, you might as well 
ask an old crow to chant ! Only look at him. Has he 
got a singing face T 

" Caustic is so odd," observed the nabob, gently depre- 
cating his sarcasm ; " but he speaks the truth. I never 
did sing in all my life. How should I ? Where am I to 
find the wind, when, as Thickscull says, my lungs are 
afiected '*" 

Mi\ Rupee was proceeding to enlarge on this favourite 
theme, and I was giving him purposely my undivided 
attention, when Caustic, who by this time perceived my 



drift, and seemed to take a malicious pleasure in thwart- 
ing me, turned back the conversation into the old channel, 
by saying, "You mentioned Seringapatam just now, Fitz- 
maurice. It was there that I smelt gunpowder for the 
first time." 

" And a villanous smell it is ; I am surprised you can 
like to talk of it." 

" I remember the year of the siege," said the nabob, 
" as well as if it were yesterday. I was at Hyderabad at 
the time, laid up with my first attack of — " 

" Pooh, pooh !" interrupted the captain, "what was your 
attack compared to mine?" then smiling grimly at this 
bright pun, he commenced his details of the siege as 
follows : — 

" Do you see this plate of biscuits, Fitzmauiice 1" 

" I see the plate, but we've despatched the biscuits." 

"No matter; imagine that this plate forms the main 
body of the fortress of Seringapatam, and that these nut- 
crackers" (placing a pair on each side the plate) " are the 
two wings, or bastions to the north and south. You 
comprehend so much, I presume 1 n 

" Nothing can be clearer," was my reply ; on which the 
captain, dipping the edges of a doyley in a finger-glass, 
and describing a circle which took in both plate and nut- 
crackers, proceeded to say, " You must next suppose, sir, 
that this is the outermost line of ramparts, in which the 
British columns, headed by Colonels Sherbroke and St. 
John, have just effected a breach. Now then — " 

At this instant the door opened, and, to my inex- 
pressible relief, old Roger thrust his head into the room 
with the tidings that a special messenger had just arrived 
from Talleen from Mr. Evans, who was anxious to see 
Mr. Fitzmaurice as early as he could make it convenient. 

" Why, you're not going to leave us 1" inquired Caustic. 

" I'm sorry to be compelled to quit you lust at the 
moment when I was beginning to get so interested in your 
story ; but business must be minded, you know.'' 

"Pooh, pooh! where's the hurry? Evans won't die 


just yet ; and if he does, no great odds It's only one 
attorney the less." 

But I persisted in my intentions, on which Mr. Rupee, 
making a faint effort to rise from his seat, said, " Excuse 
my accompanying you to the door, Mr. Fitzmaurice, but 
it's not safe to venture into the air on a night like this. 
But won't you take some nice warm barley-water before 
you go 1 My cook makes excellent barley-water. Just 
allow me now to order a basin for you, with a small tea- 
spoonful of brandy in it." 

With many thanks I declined the horrid proposition, 
and made a precipitate retreat home, where I found Mr. 
Davis cozily seated in the parlour, over a jug of cwr. 

" Well, Fitz, what news 1" said he ; " how have you 
managed matters with the old croaker? Failed, of 

When I told him that, so far from failing, I had suc- 
ceeded in inspiring Mr. Kupee with a full and lively faith 
in my medical abilities, he uplifted his hands and eyes in 
astonishment. " Well, this is really miraculous ! To con- 
vince a man so hard of belief as the nabob, that you 
actually understand his case ! Astonishing ! I could not 
do so. How did you go about it 1 What did you say V 
Then, with a low, chuckling laugh, like the quack of a 
young duck, " Upon my word, Fitz, you are, without ex- 
ception, the most impudent dog I ever set eyes on ! I 
thought I was not deficient myself; but I see I am a 
child compared to you." 

I did not contest the point ; for I felt that to attempt 
to imbue a man like Mr. Davis with right notions of 
character was as absurd as to carry coals to Newcastle ; 
so I left him to his ale, an<\ retired to bed. 




It was now August, a month destined to be ever 
memorable in the annals of Llandwarrys, when the broad 
light of royalty shone full on the bewildered vale of Towy. 
His Majesty George the Fourth having, on his return 
from Ireland, encountered some refractory weather in the 
Channel, was compelled, contrary to his original intention, 
to land at Milford Haven, and so return home by way of 
South Wales. 

This intelligence created an extraordinary — I might 
even say an unparalleled — sensation throughout the val- 
ley, scarcely an inhabitant of which had 'ever seen a king 
except on a sign-post ; and more especially did it keep 
our gossiping little town on the qui vive, as Dwarrys 
Castle, whei'e his Majesty made his first halt, was but a 
few miles distant. 

It being, therefore, taken for granted by our club that 
the king would not omit the opportunity, on his progress 
through the town, of halting to receive the congratula- 
tions of his faithful subjects, and perad venture — such was 
the absurd extravagance of the hour ! — of taking a hasty 
collation with them at the Red Lion, a special meeting 
was summoned, at which it was resolved that arrangements 
should be made for escorting his Majesty through the 
town ; that a repast, under the surveillance of the parson, 
who was " Sir Oracle " on all culinary matters, should be 
prepared in the very best room of the Red Lion ; and 
that a loyal address should be drawn up, to be read by 
the auctioneer, who knew better than any one else in the 
district how such forms were managed in London. 

These resolutions, however, were not carried without a 
strenuous opposition from Captain Caustic, who, being 
more a man of the world than all the rest put together, 
kept "pooh ; poohiug" away at every fresh suggestion ; till, 


finding himself left in a minority, lie damned the com- 
mittee for "a pack of fools/' and Avashed his hands of the 

The landlord, landlady, and indeed all the household of 
the Red Lion were in ecstasies at the anticipation of the 
honour assigned to them. To receive a king — a real king 
— beneath their humble roof ! Was ever roof so honoured ! 
In the frenzy of their loyalty, these simple-minded pub- 
licans sent for an artist, who usually officiated as house- 
painter in the neighbourhood, and commissioned him to 
prepare forthwith a " Royal George," in lieu of the old- 
established sign — a task which, considering the time 
allowed, was executed with surprising ability. 

When this chef-d'osuvre was hoisted, all Llandwarrys 
rang with acclamations, sorely to the annoyance of the 
landlady of the Castle, who kept watching the progress of 
the workmen behind the blinds of her parlour-windows, 
observing between whiles, " It was a shame and a scandal 
on folks of station and respectability that a paltry Welsh 
innkeeper should have the honour of receiving his Majesty; 
when she, who had lived for upwards of six years at the 
first hotel in Bath, was thrust aside like an old gown, 
just as if she were nobody. But, thank God ! she had no 
silly pride or envy about her — not she ! She could make 
both ends meet at the end of the year, which was more 
than some folks could, much as they might think of 

In the course of the evening, motives of curiosity led 
me into the Bed Lion, where I found its mistress, who 
up to this time had been all sunshine, in pretty nearly as 
irritable a mood as her rival. Her husband, who had 
been despatched in the forepart of the day on some im- 
portant mission to Llandilo market, had stopped to drink 
his Majesty's health at so many public-houses that he had 
wholly lost sight of the object of his journey, and had but 
just returned home, as drunk as any loyal Briton could 
reasonably desire to be. 

On entering the parlour, 1 found this poor sinner oi a 


publican pinned up in a corner, the very picture of help- 
less resignation, while his enraged wife stood before him 
with her doubled fists thrust close into his face, by way 
of giving point to her philippic. " Oh, you good-for- 
nothing brute ! is this the return you make for all my 
kindness to you 1 What do you think his Majesty would 
say, if he were to see you in such a pickle 1 A precious 
example you're setting to all the servants ! There's David, 
who's been gone ever since two o'clock to Llandovery ; 
I'll lay my life, he'll come back just as drunk as yourself. 
And who's to blame if he does 1 Now, don't attempt to 
answer me" — for the good man was beginning to expos- 
tulate — "or I'll knock that fool's head off your shoulders." 

In this energetic style, despite all my efforts to restore 
harmony, the angry dame ran on for the best part of half- 
an-hour, till the opportune return of David, unexpectedly 
sober, and bending under the weight of a well-laden fish- 
basket — the dropping-in of a more than ordinary number 
of guests — and, above all, the promise of her contrite 
spouse to go to bed and "sin no more," restored her to 

Early on the following day, crowds of fermers, &c, all 
bedizened in their holiday-suits, came pouring into the 
town, on their road to the spot where the procession was 
appointed to meet his Majesty. Smiles beamed on every 
face — expectation lit up every eye ; and the day being 
clear, dry, and sunny — that is to say, the showers collected 
by the neighbouring mountains not pouring down oftener 
than twice or thrice an hour — the whole scene was one of 
the most animated it is possible to conceive. 

Even my wife partook of the general cheerfulness. 
"Well, Eitz," said she, in the blandest of tones, as she 
entered the parlour after breakfast, fully equipped for 
walking, " are you ready ¥' 

" Yes ; but where's Mr. Davis V 

" Oh, he's gone to the Red Lion to assist the parson, in 
preparing the collation." 

" Collation, indeed !" said I, bursting into a laugh, for 


the whole business struck me in the same ridiculous light 
as Captain Caustic. "However, come along, Mrs. Fitz- 
maurice ; there's no time to be lost, since you're bent on 
seeing the sight ;" and, drawing her arm through mine, 
we set out for the place of rendezvous, which was a broad 
open patch of common jutting on the Llandilo road, and 
about two miles distant from Llandwarrys. 

During the first part of the walk our chit-chat was re- 
markable for its social tone ; but unluckily, when about 
half-way, we were met by a ragged Irish beggar-woman, 
young and somewhat pretty, with an infant in her arms, 
who stopped to implore charity for herself and child. 

The sight of this poor forlorn creature presented such 
a contrast to the cheerful scene about me that instinc- 
tively I thrust my hand into my pockets, which my wife 
perceiving, looked at the petitioner with supreme con- 
tempt, and was hurrying me on, when I threw her a half- 
crown, accompanying the donation with a smile. This so 
incensed the astringent virtue of my wife that in an instant 
she became herself again, and, tossing her head back, said, 
"Well, I'm sure, Mr. Fitzmaurice, this is pretty conduct 
to observe in my presence !" 

" Conduct, my dear ! I don't understand you." 

" Don't dear me, Mr. Fitzmaurice ; I want none of your 
dears, sir. "What business have you to be giggling at 
every trolloping hussy you meet on the road ? I would 
not have believed such a thing possible, if I had not seen 
it with my own eyes." 

" I was merely giving the poor woman a trifle from 

" Charity ! Don't think to persuade me you would 
throw away half-a-crown for charity. In these times men 
do not give half-crowns to young women for nothing. 
Half-a-crown would have bought me a new set of ribbons 
for my bonnet. But it's no use talking ; I vow and pro- 
test I'm quite sick of it." 

"And so am I." 

In a few minutes my wife's spleen picked up fresn fuel 


for conflagration. "Good heavens, Mr. Fitzmaurice, how- 
fast you walk ! Pray do move a little slower ; I am tired 
to death already. There — there you are off again ! Well, 
I declare I never — " 

" Does this suit you ]" I replied, altering my pace to a 
deliberate lounge. 

"How uncommon aggravating you are, Mr. Fitzmaurice ! 
Pray when do you think we shall get to our journey's 
end, if we keep on this snail's pace 1 I declare that Irish 
trollop has quite turned your head." 

" Just turn yours, my dear, and you will find a black 
cloud behind us that — " 

Before I could complete the sentence, one of those 
showers which are so apt to surprise the pedestrian in 
mountainous districts compelled us to run a few yards 
back to some umbrageous hedge-row elms which overhung 
the road. Here, while adjusting her bonnet, and nestling 
close" up under the trees on tiptoe, my wife, in order to 
make the most of her time, again burst out with, " I told 
you we should want the umbrella, Mr. Fitzmaurice ; but 
no, you would be so positive, and now you see the conse- 
quences. I shall catch my death of cold, I'm sure I shall. 
Aye, you may laugh as much as you please ; but if I were 
yon, I should have too much decency to make a jest of 
such things. But you haven't a spark of feeling;" and in 
this way she ran on, while I stood, with all the sullen 
fortitude oi an Indian at the stake, beside her. 

At length, the sky having cleared up, we were enabled 
to resume our walk, and soon reached the appointed spot, 
where we found almost the entire population of Lland- 
warrys drawn up on either side the Llandilo road. The 
captain, who had preceded us by but a few minutes, was 
the first to welcome our approach. 

" Happy to see you, Mrs. Fitzraaurice ; you look quite 
charmingly to-day." 

" Ah ! Captain Caustic," replied my wife, with a gracious 
simper, " you military gentlemen are so full of compliment, 
one never knows when you're speaking the truth." 


" Except when we run down one lady in the presence 
of another. By the bye, Fitz, how did you leave Rupee ? 
Croaking, I suppose, as usual. And Mr. Davis, too? 
How comes it that he is absent 1 But I suppose he thinks 
that one fool more or less is of no consequence, where there 
are so many of us." 

My wife was just in the act of replying, when a loud 
shout of "The King ! the King !" rose among the crowd ; 
and presently two limbs of the law, followed by a squadron 
of Lord Dwarry's yeomanry, came galloping along the 
road, announcing the near approach of the royal cortege. 

Just previous to this we had been standing apart from 
the throng; but on seeing these avant couriers, we rushed 
to take our places among the foremost group, in which, 
by dint of squeezing and elbowing, we succeeded ; where 
we found the attorney, the auctioneer, and one or two 
others of the deputation drawn up in formal line. 

" The awkward squad at drill !" whispered the captain 
to me ; then turning to the auctioneer — " Well," said he, 
" what have you done with your address." 

" The address is given up," replied the auctioneer 

"We're non-suited," added the attorney; " a messen- 
ger, whom we despatched for advice to Dwarrys Castle, 
informed us that his lordship considered the project too 
absurd to be thought of for an instant." 

" As regards myself personally," rejoined the auctioneer, 
" it's a matter of perfect indifference whether the address 
be spoken or not. But as respects his Majesty, I must 
confess I do still think, notwithstanding Lord Dwarry's 
opinion, that he would have been pleased with it ; espe- 
cially as I had taken a hint or two from the celebrated 
one that was presented to him as Prince Regent, when he 
dined with the allied sovereigns at Guildhall, the same year 
that I was in London. However, it's given up, bo there's 
an end of the matter." 

" Hark !" exclaimed the captain abruptly, " is that the 
trampling c i horses I hear ? By Jove it is !" and, as he 


said so, tlie royal cavalcade came sweeping round an angle 
of the road, a few hundred yards beyond us. At this 
moment the utmost confusion reigned among the crowd, 
which kept heaving like the waters of an agitated sea ; 
when the auctioneer with a stentorian voice cried out, 
"Hats off!" and presently the whole mighty mass stood 
uncovered, at the same time cheering and huzzaing till 
they made the welkin ring again. 

His Majesty, beside whom sat a fat peer with a leek at 
his button-hole, was hy this time right opposite us ; and 
as he east a glance at our group, in the centre of which 
stood the captain, upright as a ramrod, with the back of 
his hand to his hat, he turned with a smile to the noble- 
man at his elbow. The smile, I suspect, was called forth 
by Mrs. Fitzmaurice, who had dropped so profound a 
courtesy that it actually brought her head to within three 
feet of the ground ! 

No sooner had the cavalcade swept past us than away 
rushed the crowd after it, in the full conviction that it 
would make a halt at the Red Lion. But, alas ! they 
were doomed to disappointment ; for, on reaching that 
ambitious auberge, his Majesty evinced not the slightest 
desire to partake of the good cheer provided by the Lland- 
warrys' club. This so astounded the curate, who had been 
all the morning absorbed in culinary preparations, and 
who now stood at the door ready to receive his Majesty, 
that, in the impulse of the moment, heedless of all etiquette, 
he rushed after the royal carriage, with, " May it please 
your Majesty, the roast beef and" — all further expression 
of surprise and chagrin being cut short by the disappearance 
of the cavalcade, which shot up the main street like 

The rest of the day passed off, as was to have been 
expected, amid general gloom and dejection. As a sample 
of the sort of feeling that pervaded the village, I siibjoin 
a conversation that took place between two labouring- 
men, and which I chanced to overhear. 

" Well, David, did you see the King V 


"Yes, sure." 

" And what was he like V 

" Like !" replied the other, with evident disappointment, 
"why, just like any other man. I saw nothing in him. 
Squire Gryffyths was dressed twice as fine." 

But by far the most chapfallen individual in all Lland- 
warrys was the landlady of the Red Lion, whose malicious 
rival, for at least a fortnight after, made a point of daily 
sending to inquire at what hour his Majesty might be 
expected back at the Red Lion ; greatly to the delight of 
the attorney, who carefully fostered the quarrel, in the 
hope that, by good nursing, it might be made to fructify 
into a lusty lawsuit. 



Neither the club at the Red Lion nor its landlord and 
landlady were the only folks in the valley who had reason 
to remember his Majesty's visit with regret. To higher 
and more influential individuals it was the source of equal 
annoyance. A Mr. Gryffyths, of Gryffyths, a Welsh 
squire of ancient descent, who resided within a mile or so 
of the nabob, in his zeal to commemorate the great event, 
had exercised his hospitality on so extensive a scale, and 
set such a loyal example of conviviality, that before the 
week's end the rheumatic-gout had chained him fast down 
by both legs to his arm-chair. 

In this predicament, the good squire bethought himself 
of his usual medical adviser, Mr. Davis ; but, as my 
brother happened to be from home when the summons 
for his immediate attendance at Gryffyths arrived, I 
caught at such a favourable opportunity of making myself 
known to the elite of the district, and voluntered to go 
in his stead. 

As my road lay by Rupee Lodge, I called in just to pay 


a passing visit to the nabob, whom I found airing a clamp 
newspaper by a fire that might have roasted an ox. 

As usual, he was in great affliction. " I have been 
reading ' Buchan's Domestic Medicine/ " he began, " since 
I last saw you ; and, strange to say, there is scarcely a single 
disorder mentioned in it that I have not got some symp- 
toms of. Very hard, but nothing seems to do me good. 
Thickskull was here yesterday, and advised me to try the 
blue-pill. He begins now to think that the seat of my 
complaint is the liver, and that the affection at the chest 
is merely a secondary symptom. Well, well, be this as it 
may, I can assure you, Mr. Eitzmaurice, I've long since 
shaken hands with the world, and shall be far from sorry 
to bid it good-night. I made the very same remark to 
Caustic, when he was pestering me about making a will. 
It's very odd, how persevering that man is ! Because I 
once accidentally let drop some intention of the sort, he 
has never let me have a moment's peace since. I wonder 
he can like to talk on such a subject ; but he is a sad 
croaker — and such an egotist !" 

The old hypochondriac was running on in this dismal 
fashion, when his attention, most opportunely for me, was 
called off by the yelping of his dog Venus, the only crea- 
ture on earth in which he ever seemed to take the slightest 
interest. On hastening to the door to see who or what it 
was that was thus wounding the sensibilities of his pet, 
he discovered that the offender was no less a personage 
than Roger — his " treasure " Roger ! who, having forced 
the cur up into a corner in the passage, was belabouring 
it with a bamboo-cane, and cursing it between whiles with 
an energy that might have created a sensation at Ports- 
mouth Point. 

The nabob seemed quite thunderstruck at this unac- 
countable behaviour of his " treasure." " I am astonished, 
Koger," he said, " at your conduct ! What do you mean 
by your cruelty to that harmless animal V 

" What do I mean V replied the fellow, who chanced 
to be in one of those surly humours with which men with 



only half a liver are apt to be visited ; "why, I mean to 
thrash her— that's what I mean. She's almost bit my 
thumb off, the b — h !" and forgetting, in the rage of the 
moment, his usual respect for his master, he aimed another 
blow at the animal, which, instead of reaching her, took 
an oblique direction, and alighted upon Mr. Rupee's shin- 

The unexpected impudence of this reply, and still more 
the assault by which it was accompanied, set the nabob 
trembling from head to foot. I never saw him in such a 
state of excitement. He turned white ; he turned red ; 
he turned yellow ; he absolutely foamed with rage ; and 
at length, with incredible difficulty, while he kept standing 
on one leg, like a stork, and giving sharp jerks with the 
other, by way of easing the pain, he stammered out, " Quit 
my service instantly, sir. D'ye hear? Quit it this 

Roger, whose blood was quite as much up as his 
master's, was about making another saucy answer, which 
would infallibly have ended in his being knocked down 
either by myself or the nabob, when I stopped him by 
placing my hands on his shoulders, and driving him before 
me to the back-door ; after which, having seen him fairly 
ejected from the premises, I returned into the parlour, 
where I found Mr. Rupee taking quick, frenzied strides 
up and down the room, like a man who has just read his 
banker's name in the Gazette. 

For a few minutes, indignation was the one predomi- 
nant feeling in his mind ; but when I had prevailed on 
him to resume his seat, and take a full glass of madeira, 
a bottle of which was lying, together with his tiffin, on 
the table, he remained silent for a time, and then, tossing 
off a second bumper, he flung himself back in his arm- 
chair, and, to my inconceivable surprise, burst into a 
violent fit of laughter. " Well," said he, " this is, with- 
out exception, the most ridiculous piece of business I ever 
was engaged in. I could not have believed it possible 
„that anything would have power to rouse me so. It has 
actually made me feel quite strong again." 


" And no wonder," said I ; " depend on it, there is 
nothing like a good honest passion to brace the nerves, 
and set the blood in motion. In Ireland, whenever we 
are low-spirited, we make a point of pitching into our 
next neighbour, and it is astonishing the good it does both 
parties. Take another glass, Mr. Rupee. Bravo ! I 
protest you look quite hearty." 

" Hearty !" replied the nabob, rubbing his hands with 
ecstasy ; " why, sir, I'm full twenty years younger. 
Haven't I a fine colour in my face 1 Egad, I feel strong 
enough to do any thing. I'll get up by candle-light to- 
morrow, and go fox-hunting with the squire ! I'll poke 
the fire out, and sit without one ! I'll give up my barley- 
water, and take to brandy ! I'll toss my physic out of 
the window, and — " 

"For God's sake, Mr. Rupee, don't do anything so 
rash. It may be your death. No doubt your late 
excitement has done you good ; but the relapse, sir, that 
is what we have most to dread in a case of this sort. If 
you will be advised by me, you will double your usual 
dose to-night, and early in the morning I will send up a 
few tonics, which, with one or two composing draughts, 
a box of pills, and a mild blister, will set you all to rights. 
Physic, Mr. Rupee, physic, sir — after all, there is nothing 
like physic." 

At this moment the door gently opened, and in walked 
the penitent Roger, who, halting a few paces off the 
table, where his master was seated, was commencing a 
most submissive and elaborate apology for what he called 
his "little indiscretion," when the nabob cut him short 
with, " Go your ways, Roger, go your ways, and think no 
more about it. If you were hasty, so was I $" and then 
turning to me, he added, " As you were saying, Mr. Fitz- 
maurice, we must take care to guard against a relapse. 
But siirely you have no apprehensions on this score 1" 

" Oh, dear, no, sir. A little physic, judiciously applied, 
will prevent anything of the sort, particularly as you're 
just now in such a fine train for recovery." 
" That is, ii I don't fall back," replied the nabob, whose 


ecstasies -were by this time beginning to get a little 

" And if you should," said I, with a waggish and most 
unprofessional smile, which, however, I could not for the 
life of me resist, " you have your remedy in your own 

" And what is that ?" 

" Thrash Roger !" and so saying, I made a precipitate 
retreat, and hurried on to Gryffyths. 



The family-seat of the Grynyths was a low, spacious 
mansion, portions of whose architecture dated as far back 
as the reign of Henry tho Eighth, while others had been 
renewed within the last century, presenting as many 
quaint samples of building as there are patterns in a 
tailor's show-book. Everything seemed to be just in its 
wrong place ; while the whole structure — more especially 
the windows, some of which were boarded, and others 
bricked up, with a view no doubt to save taxes — was so 
ci'azy and dilapidated, that nothing short of a large 
outlay could have sufficed to put it into proper repair ; 
but as Mr. Gryffyths was unable to make this outlay, he 
was fain to content himself with botching up, every now 
and then, those portions which stood most in need of 

Fronting the building was a large lawn ; in the centre 
of which, right before the parlour-windows, stood a 
solitary majestic oak, bowed down by years and infirmi- 
ties ; its larger branches carefully propped up, and its 
trunk fenced round with strong wooden stakes, to protect 
it from the assaults of cattle. Surrounding this lawn, 
and wholly shutting out a view of the high-road, was a 
thick belt of magnificent forest-trees, one clumo of which 


formed a rookery, while another consisted merely of 
stumps, the rest of the trunk and branches having, from 
the same motives that had suggested the blocking up the 
windows, been cut down and sold for timber. 

At the hall-door of this unique mansion stood the 
housekeeper, with a strip of brown paper wrapped round 
each wrist, and one hand held up before her eyes, to shade 
them from the sun, while ever and anon she cast an. 
inquisitive glance along the footway. 

As soon as she saw me she said, " I suppose you're the 
doctor. The squire's been expecting you a long while 
since." At this instant the parlour-bell rung with pro- 
digious violence. "That's the squire's summons," ex- 
claimed the old lady ; and, bustling forward, threw open 
the door, and ushered me into her master's presence, with 
the brief and blunt introduction of " Here's the doctor." 

On hearing this announcement, the squire turned 
slightly round in his easy elbow-chair ; and, seeing a 
strange face instead of the one he expected to see, gave 
vent to his surprise by a " Whew !" or low whistle ; 
whereupon I explained the reason of Mr. Davis' non- 
attendance, but was stopped half-way by, " No matter ; 
one's just as good as another ; so, sit clown, sir, sit down ; 
but stay, there's no chair. Lewis, place a seat for the 

This was said to a meek, sedate young man, in whom, 
at the very first glance, I detected that miserable animal, 
a dependent relative. The next bad thing to being a poor 
poet is to be a poor relation. There is no mistaking either. 

When I had taken my seat, and cast a hurried glance 
about the room, which was lofty and spacious, with a 
bow- window looking out upon the lawn, and a branching 
pair of antlers fixed against the wall, I inquired into all 
the particulars of the squire's illness ; and, having been 
duly enlightened thereon, I observed, " You have a pic- 
turesque view, sir, from this window." 

"Yes," replied the scpiire, "it's a capital ."porting 
country " 


" And a fine day like this brings out the landscape in 
all its beauty." 

"Not so fine neither; the scent won't lie, there is too 
much frost in the air." 

A pause of a few minutes ensued, after which the con- 
versation turned on his Majesty's late visit to Dwarrys 
Castle ; when the squire, who had been formally presented 
to him there, pronounced him to be a king, every inch of 
him, " And such a capital judge of horseflesh, too ! Why, 
sir, he no sooner set eyes on my bay mare than he said 
she was one of the finest bits of blood he had ever seen. 
I assure you I felt quite flattered by the compliment." 

" You were more fortunate, Mr. Gryffyths," I observed, 
"in being honoured with his Majesty's notice than we 
were at Llandwarrys," and then proceeded to acquaint the 
squire with all the details of the late grand doings at the 
Red Lion ; at which he laughed heartily, adding, " I 
heard something of that, but could not believe that 
people would make such asses of themselves. Invite his 
Majesty to dine in a pothouse ! Never heard of such a 
thing ! But it's all that Radical auctioneer's doings ; I 
hate such fellows — they're a perfect nuisance." 

" You should not blame them, sir," I replied ; " they are 
but labouring in their vocation — serving an '• apprentice- 
ship' to the gallows, as your neighbour What's-his-name 
would say." 

This sneer was purposely made in allusion to a wealthy 
Humbug merchant, who had just purchased some tracts 
of land in the neighbourhood, which adjoined the squire's. 
To this person it was well known that Mr. Gryffyths bore 
an inveterate animosity. He envied him for his wealth — 
he despised him for his occupation — he detested him for 
the injury he bade fair to do to his own hereditary in- 
fluence in the neighbourhood. " Do you know anything 
of this Mr. What's-his-name?" he inquired. 

" Nothing ; but he's a sad, vulgar fellow, I'm tolcl — the 
tradesman all over." 

" Yet he has the assurance to give himself airs, just aa 


if he were one of us ;" and the squire drew himself up 
with much hauteur. " When the family," he added, " first 
came to reside here, as they seemed a harmless sort of 
people, I felt it my duty to act in a neighbourly way 
towards them ; but so ungrateful were they for my civili- 
ties, that old What's- his-name had actually the impudence 
one day to order my gamekeeper off a dirty bit of moor- 
land which he swears is his, though the man had gone 
there by my express command. Monstrous, wasn't it, 

" That was the old man's doing, sir ; the sons have 
always expressed the greatest respect for you." 

" Old or young, I'll have no such freedoms taken with 
me. Pretty business, if a family like mine can't do as 
they please in their own neighbourhood. That's what 
the [Radicals call liberty, I suppose. Hang all such 
liberty, say I ! And to talk of law, too ! A low, 
pettifogging — " 

" Mr. Jointstock is just what you describe him," replied 
Lewis ; " but his eldest son John is really a very clever, 
well-disposed young fellow." 

" Clever !" retorted the squire, "why, yes, I suppose he 
knows better than to beat for a black cock in a parsley- 
bed ; but since you think the son so clever, what would 
you think of the father, if you were to see him, as I saw 
him the other day, riding to cover with an umbrella over 
his head. Such a turn-out ! Why don't you laugh, 
Lewis 1" 

"He ! he !" replied the young man, but the mode in 
which he gave vent to this faint apology for cachinnation 
convinced me that there are few things in life more full of 
pathos than the laugh of a poor relation. 

" Commercial men," continued Lewis, when his coun- 
tenance had recovered its usual meek expression, " seldom 
exhibit to advantage in field — " 

" Be quiet, Lewis ; you're always so fond of hearing 
yourself talk, I can't get in a word edgewise. Doctor ! 
what a twinge ! " 


" Permit me, Mr. Gryffytlis," said I, moving my chair 
towards him, "just to feel your pulse." 

"Keep off, sir, keep off; oh, my knee !" 

" If you will be ruled by me, sir, you will retire early 
to rest. Nature, Mr. Gryffyths, is a better physician than 

"That's just what I say, when Davis advises me to 
give up my second bottle. I take to it so naturally, I 
tell him, that I'm sure I can't be wrong. Besides, my 
family have always been proverbial for their hospitality, 
and it's my duty to show myself worthy of them." 

" I can fully sympathise with your feelings, sir," I ob- 
served ; " for I am myself the descendant of an old Mile- 
sian family, though a long series of misfortunes — "' 

"Aye, aye," rejoined the squire briskly, "I can feel, no 
man more so, for the misfortunes of a gentleman of birth. 
I have known what it is to suffer them myself. To say 
nothing of this gout, it is not a month since I lost my 
bitch pointer, the best sporting-dog I ever bred." 

" That is her portrait, I presume," said I, pointing to a 
painting at the far end of the room. 

"What ! are you fond of paintings'?" 

" Very ; I have seen some of the finest in the world at 
the Louvre, and in the Florence Gallery." 

" No doubt, no doubt — travelling is all the fashion 
now-a-days. Well, I thank my stars that, except on one 
occasion, when I went to London on some law-business, I 
was never a hundred miles from home in my life. But I 
think you said you were fond of paintings ? I can show 
you some of the finest you have ever seen ;" with which 
words he directed Lewis to throw open the door of an 
adjacent apartment, and wheel him into it. 

The room in question was dark and lofty, with walls of 
black polished oak hung with portraits, not a few of which, 
from want of adequate space, leaned against the floor. 

" There, sir," said the squire, looking round him with 
much complacency, "there you see all the Gryffyths at 
one coup d'osil — as his Majesty observed, when speaking 


of the view from Dwarrys Castle. They deserve a better 
stall than this ; but the truth is, the workmen are busy 
just now with the picture-gallery, the floor of which gave 
way last week, when the young folks were dancing there. 
Mark that portrait to the left of you. The original was 
my great-grandfather. Very handsome, isn't he ? And 
how clean in the fetlock ! They say I'm just like him." 

I affected to be much struck by the painting ] and, 
after an attentive survey of one or two stout old cava- 
liers in full-bottomed wigs and armour, directed Mr. 
Gryffyths' notice to a small picture which had been 
thrust, as if on purpose, into an obscure part of the room. 
The portrait was that of a beautiful girl, young, and fair, 
and gentle, but with a look of profound melancholy. 

"Ahem! ahem!" said the squire, "that picture, you 
mean ; oh, it's a mere nothing, not worth looking at — the 
likeness of a relation — that is, of a sort of distant con- 
nexion of the Gryffyths." 

I inferred from this that the portrait was one of a poor 
girl, who, by marrying beneath her, or some such heterodox 
means, had brought dishonour on the family scutcheon ; 
so, averting my gaze, I fixed it on a fat old man attired 
in a full court suit. 

The squire's countenance brightened up as he saw my 
attention thus diverted, and he entered into a prosing 
history of the original. " He was a great man, sir ; the 
finest made man in all Wales, and had the honour of pre- 
senting the first county address to his late Majesty — God 
bless him ! — on the birth of our present most gracious 
Sovereign. On that occasion, the good old King said, 
turning with a sly glance to the Queen — for her Majesty, 
I should tell you, was always an admirer of well-made 
men, and indeed so, for the matter of that, are most 
women — ' Mr. Gryffyths,' said his Majesty — Oh, murder, 
another twinge ! " and cutting short his story, the squire 
absolutely roared with pain. 

" The air of this room is too damp for you, sir," said I ; 
" permit me to wheel you back." 


" Egad, I believe you're right," replied the squire ; then 
suddenly, in a loud voice of spleen and impatience, as I 
pushed the chair somewhat too forcibly over one or two 
rough knots in the oaken floor, "Halloo, sir ! halloo ! you 
drive on as if you were driving at a five-barred gate ! 
There, that will do, that will do ; now shut the door, if 
you please, and take your chair." 

" I am sorry I must be on the move ; it's getting late, 
and I have yet some patients to visit at Llandwarrys." 

" Well, well, I press no man to stop against his incli- 
nation. This is Liberty Hall ; you come when you please, 
and go when you please. I shall see you again in a day 
or two, I suppose i Good night, sir. Take care of the 

"Bravo !" said I, as I returned home to Llandwarrys, "I 
have made as decided a hit here as with the nabob, but 
must take care to improve my advantage by studying the 
squire's character. No doubt, with a little management, 
I shall find him as good a patron as a patient. To be 
sure, he has no great fancy for physic. But what of that] 
Advice swells up an apothecary's bill quite as well as 
medicine. So, vive Humbug ! And myself, too ; for, had 
I not been the most modest and meritorious of quacks, I 
should have insisted on the merits of my elixir, both with 
the nabob and the squire. Pray Heaven I don't suffer by 
such excessive diffidence!" 



Me. Gryffyths of G-ryffyths was one of those frank, 
jolly fellows whose character may be read at a glance. 
He had a round rosy face, presenting about as much of a 
profile as a turnip ; a beard as black as a shoe-brush ; and 
a spacious mouth, calculated sadly to perplex a round of 
beef. His arms, of which he was not a little proud, were 


miracles of muscle, and his nails were always bitten to the 

In his attire he was the old English sportsman all over. 
He wore a faded epigrammatic green coat, with huge 
pockets at the side ; drab breeches ; waxy top-boots, as 
full of wrinkles as one's grandmother ; and a huge gold 
watch, with figures on the dial-plate almost large enough 
for a kitchen-clock, and to which were attached an enor- 
mous chain and seals, that reached half-way down to his 

In early life he had been notorious for his rustic gal- 
lantries j and even now was fond of chucking a pretty 
girl under the chin, and styling her " my dear." People 
called him handsome ; but this the captain always con- 
tended was a gross calumny. " Look at his legs, sir," he 
would say, when any one praised Mr. Gryffyths' good 
looks in his hearing ; " how can a man with such mill- 
posts be handsome ?" and then he would cast a sidelong, 
complacent glance at his own shapely leg and foot. I 
think nothing of this, however ; for wherever women were 
concerned, Caustic made a point of recognising no claims 
but his own. He had the bad taste to condemn even my 
exterior ! 

Among the squire's most marked peculiarities was an 
inveterate addiction to family customs. That a habit or 
prejudice was ancient was with him sufficient warranty 
of its excellence. Though on the whole a good-natured 
man, yet scarcely a day passed but something or other 
occurred to ruffle his temper. In the first place, he was 
never free from pecuniary embarrassments ; secondly, he 
had seldom less than one lawsuit on hand, but frequently 
more, which, however harassing to his mind and. trying 
to his pocket, he yet seemed perversely to cherish as among 
the necessary adjuncts of an ancient pedigree ; and thirdly, 
he lived in a neighbourhood where, with all the passion 
for the undivided empire of a despot, he found himself 
compelled to "bear a brother near the throne" in the person 
of Mr. Jointstock. 

The consequence of this was, that for some time past 



he had been gradually contracting the circle of his society, 
and dividing it between those few among the squirearchy 
who held the same opinions as himself, and the strolling 
players, when they haj>pened to be in the neighbourhood, 
whose fun, anecdote, and general recklessness of character 
jumped with his own peculiar humour. To these last, 
together with the poachers, with whom he held many 
sporting tenets in common, he knew he might play the 
great man with impunity. 

But though Mr. Gryffyths (who, I should have observed, 
had been a childless widower for many years) was thus 
comparatively withdrawn from the world, yet there were 
certain times and seasons when he came publicly forth, 
like a "giant refreshed," in all his feudal glory. The 
eighth of September was one of these epochs. On that 
memorable day, some sixty or seventy years since, his 
grandfather, after a protracted course of litigation, had 
succeeded in wresting his patrimonial property from a 
usurping kinsman, and the family had ever since cele- 
brated the anniversary. 

When I next saw the squire, he was fall of the subject. 
The eighth of September was approaching, and he would 
not, for the value of his whole estate, be the means of 
delaying its celebration. But how was the thing to be 
accomplished 1 This confounded gout would not let him 
stir. What would Mr. Fitzmaurice advise ? 

My advice, of course, was that he should keep his mind 
free from excitement, and live uj)on slops, when, as it still 
wanted nearly a fortnight of the eighth, I had little doubt 
he would recover in time enough to take the field as well 
as ever. 

As I said this, the squire shook his head, with an air of 
distrust and despondency. He might or he might not 
recover, God only knew ! For himself, he was far from 
confident, for he had had a warning only the night before, 
which had never yet been known to fail. 

"Warning !" said I, much astonished ; "to whom or to 
what do you allude ?" 


Mr. Gryffyths made no reply ; on which Lewis, who 
was sitting next me, whispered in my ear that the warn- 
ing to which his uncle alluded was the fall of one of the 
branches of the oak in the centre of the lawn, which was 
generally supposed to be the forerunner of some calamity 
to the family. 

There is scarcely an ancient family in all South Wales 
that does not boast its warning oak. In one district of 
Caermarthenshire alone, there are not less than six families 
thus endowed. The legend is a truly national one. 

On being made acquainted with this curious ancestral 
superstition, I proceeded to administer consolation to Mr. 
Gryffyths by turning the whole affair into ridicule. But 
the task was more difficult than I had anticipated, and 
had only the effect of unsettling his temper more than 
ever; for, though far from sorry to be promised a quick 
recovery, yet lie was shocked at the idea of having an old 
family legend ridiculed and falsified. 

Seeing this, I altered my tone, and, admitting that the 
fall of the branch could scarcely be looked on in any other 
light than as a warning, I yet added that there was not 
the slightest reason to suppose that it had any reference 
to himself personally. 

The squire caught eagerly at my suggestion. " A good 
idea," said he ; " the warning is, as you say, a warning ; 
still there can be no reason why it should apply to me. 
Why shouldn't it 1 Ah ! a lucky thought. Lewis, run down 
to the stables and see if all's right there. But no, I think 
you had better take a peep at the kennel ; poor Madoc 
was off his meat yesterday." 

Lewis, with whom I exchanged smiles at this propo- 
sition, which was made by the squire with the most edi- 
fying gravity, left the room to fulfil his uncle's directions ; 
and returned in a few minutes with intelligence that one 
of his best harriers, Don, was missing. 

" I thought so," said Mr. Gryffyths, with a whimsical 
mixture of chagrin and satisfaction ; " didn't I tell you, 
Fit/man rice, that the oak's warning had never been known 


to fail ? Yet to lose sucli a treasure as Don ! I would 
not have taken fifty pounds for him. However, it's well 
it's no worse." 

On further inquiries among the household, it appeared 
that a beggar had been seen loitering near the premises 
that morning, and shortly afterwards to make a preci- 
pitate retreat, with Don hard at his heels. But this part 
of the story the squire indignantly rebutted. " What !" 
said he, " Don hunt vermin ! No, no ; he's been spirited 
away by the vagabond; but I'll ferret him out;'' and, 
ringing the bell, he gave orders to his groom to post oil 
to Llandwarrys, and mention the circumstances of the 
theft to the constable there, with Mr. Gryffyths' orders 
that he should stop all suspicious persons. 

These points settled, the squire returned to his favourite 
subject of the oak. His ancestors had always regarded 
it with veneration ; for there was an old tradition current 
in the neighbourhood that, when the oak fell, the dynasty 
of the Gryffyths would fall, too. But Lewis could tell all 
about it, for he had written some verses on the subject, 
which he (the squire) had read, and which were exceed- 
ingly clever ; though, for his own part, he was not much 
of a judge of such matters : anything in the shape of 
rhyme always jmzzled his poor brain. 

His nephew here took up the subject, and was busily 
expatiating upon it, when the housekeeper entered the 
room with a basin of water-gruel in her hand, which she 
placed deliberately under the poor squire's nose. His 
countenance fell as he began to stir up this " slip-slop." 
He looked first at me, then at Lewis, with an indescribably 
diverting air of sheepishness ; and then, forcing a laugh 
at his own weakness, began to apologise in such terms as, 
/Well, it can't be helped, so I suppose I must put a 
good face on the matter, and swallow this vile water— 

ter— " 
wa" Gruel," said Lewis, helping out his recollection. 

"I know that as well as you can tell me, so you needn't 
be so officious. You'll please to remember, Mr. Fitz- 


maurice, that it's by your express order, and no wish of 
mine, that I swallow this villanous mess. By the bye, 
don't you think a glass of brandy would improve it % 
Well, well," said he, seeing that I shook my head, '-it 
can't be helped, so here goes ; but, then, how Jointstock 
would crow if he could see me in this pickle !" And in 
this way he kept on sipping and grumbling, while his 
nephew and myself had the greatest difficulty in subduing 
our muscles to the proper decorous gravity. 

At length, when the draught was finished, the squire 
by my advice retired for the night, and I followed. On 
reaching home, I found my wife engaged in an animated 
altercation with her submissive brother, touching the 
compound fracture of a pickle-jar, which was " all owing 
to his abominable carelessness," so I left the amiable pan- 
to settle their disputes themselves, and hastened to the 
Red Lion to while away an hour with the club. 


A wolf ra sheep's clothing. 

The eighth of September had now arrived ; and crutch, 
flannels, and water-gruel, thrown aside, the squire was " a 
man again." Agreeably to the directions I had received 
from him on the preceding day, I made my appearance 
at Gryffyths shortly after eight o'clock, where I found 
some ten or a dozen farmers, together with a small sjn'ink- 
ling of the neighbouring gentry, among whom were Lewis 
and the parson, seated at a well-laden breakfast-table. 
JSfot the slightest order of precedence was observed among 
the guests ; for the squire's anniversaries were a species of 
saturnalia at which all distinctions of rank were for the 
time dispensed with. 

Mr. Gryffyths welcomed me with a hearty slap on the 
back. " Fine day, doctor," said he ; " glorious day. I 
was in a sad fidget, though, all last night; up at least a 


dozen times, looking out to see what chance there was for 
us. Ah ! captain," he continued, addressing Caustic, who 
just then entered the room, "glad to see you. How's that 
old ass Rupee. Sit down, man, sit down ; we've no time 
to spare." And without more ado he took his place next 
me, and, tackling to some cold roast-beef, said, " Good 
stuff this, doctor ; better than all your drugs, hey, you 
dog 1" and then, by way of giving point to his sarcasm, 
he kept pegging me in the ribs till he made me roar again. 
During the repast, the squire gave us directions as to 
what were to be the " orders of the day." We were to 
meet, he told us, beside the Talleen lakes, but not later 
than three o'clock, where we should find everything pre- 
pared for our accommodation ; for which purpose he had 
despatched a whole waggon-load of sutlers at daybreak. 

After breakfast, during which I could not extract a 
word from either the curate or the captain, both of whom 
informed me by signs that their time was too precious to 
be so wasted, we all set out on our excursion. The squire 
and some few others led the way on horseback, the rest 
trudged afoot, while Lewis and myself brought up the 
rear ; but as neither of us was very ambitious of figuring 
among the Nimrods of the day, we soon lost sight of the 
rest of the party, and made a short cut across some fields 
for the purpose of mounting a hill, whence, as Lewis 
assured me, we should have a view of all the "classic 
ground" of South Wales. 

Having seen all that was to be seen, we returned into 
the high-road; but scarcely had we proceeded a few hundred 
yards, when we observed, at a slight distance before us, 
a crowd standing on a bridge that spanned the little river 

" Halloo," said I, " what is the meaning of all this 
gathering 1 Is there another George the Fourth being 
exhibited i" 

" Oh ! a preacher, I suppose," replied Lewis ; "we have 
hundreds of them in South Wales ;" and he led the way 
across a broad swampy meadow, which soon brought us 


out on the high-road ; when, on nearing the crowd, we 
found, as Lewis had surmised, that it was collected to 
hear an itinerant expounder of "the Word." Not a few 
of our own party figured among the congregation, whom 
the curate, in his zeal for orthodoxy, was endeavouring to 
drive onward ; but in vain, for the preacher's eloquence 
prevailed over all his intreaties. 

At length a circumstance occurred which created a re- 
action in his favoui~. A shepherd's boy came running along 
the banks of the river, and, when he arrived close under 
the bridge, shouted out, "An otter ! an otter !" whereupon 
the whole congregation scampered off in the direction 
whence the lad preceded them. 

I remained behind, attracted by a certain something in 
the preacher's voice and gestures, which I fancied were 
familiar to me ; and on looking steadily at his features, 
half-concealed as they were by a huge slouch hat, whom 
should I recognise but my philosophic friend Mr. Justinian 
Stubbs, looking, if possible, more sleek, smooth, and oily 
than ever ! 

The sly fox saw that I remembered him, and that it 
was of no use, therefore, to deny his identity ; so, after a 
moment or two's hesitation as to whether he should be 
candid or not, cant carried the day, and he began indulg- 
ing me with a full and particular accotint of the cir- 
cumstances attending what he called his miraculous 

" Ah, my friend !" he drawled out, in the true twang of 
the conventicle, "it was, indeed, a blessed change, and 
wrought in me just at the fitting season. Heaven only 
knows what would have become of me, surrounded as I 
was in Humbug by implacable enemies, and living in 
constant fear of detection by the profane, had I not one 
night, as I lay sleepless on my pallet, devising divers 
schemes for the future, heard a voice cry, 'Justinian 
Stubbs, whose name is henceforth Habakkuk Holdforth, 
arise, and flee into Wales. The Lord hath need of thee 


" truly, as you say, Mr. Stubbs, the summons came just 
in the nick of time. I think I never heard of so discreet 
and convenient a conversion. However, what will be, 
will be, as your philosophy teaches." 

" Philosophy ! Mention not the profane term ! Thank 
Heaven, I have eschewed it for ever, and become, albeit at the 
eleventh hour, an humble labourer in the Lord's vineyard." 

" Ah, Mr. Stubbs — Holdforth, I should say — it was in 
a far different vineyard you were labouring, when you 
disembarrassed me of my pocket-book, on the night of the 
conflagration at Humbug." 

The accomplished hypocrite indulged in a fdint smile 
as I reminded him of this small backsliding ; but instantly 
correcting himself, he observed, "That was the Lord's 
doing, who permitted me to fall, like David, in order that 
I might rise again regenerated, like Nicodemus. 'All 
men,' as the great Helvetius " — (here I buttoned up my 
pockets) — " I mean, as the pious John Huntingdon says, 
' have their time to sin, and their time to repent ;' " with 
which words he thrust his hand into his coat-pocket, and, 
drawing out a tract, placed it in my hands, adding, 
"Would to Heaven, my friend, that your day of 
grace were arrived, and that I could see you, by the aid 
of this precious work, cleansed and sweetened by the 
waters of life, even as I now am. Oh ! you know not 
the bliss that is reserved for those who hold fast by the 
faith, and fear not. Faith can remove mountains." 

" Yes, and pocket-books too. Doubtless, Mr. Stubbs, 
your new faith has proved as profitable to you in a tem- 
poral as in a spiritual sense ?" 

" Temporal considerations," he replied, casting his eyes 
devoutly upward, " weigh no longer with one who has put 
oCt the old Adam, and clothed himself in the white garment 
of regeneration, though it is but just and fitting that, as 
I expound the Word, I should live by the Word. I have 
called many to repentance, and, thanks be to Him who 
feedeth the young ravens, I have found no lack of food OS 
raiment during my sojourn in this country." 


He was proceeding in this fashion, when a sudden idea 
suggested itself to me*; and, resolved on having a jest at 
his expense, I interrupted him with, " I am sorry, Mr. 
Stubbs, you should have selected this part of Wales as 
the theatre of your exploits, for the ordinary of the Hum- 
bug jail — you remember the ordinary, of course ?— hap- 
pens to be just now on a visit to some friends at Talleen." 

" Indeed !" replied Justinian, turning quite pale with 

" Tact. I have met him twice already, but luckily he 
did not recognise me. I hope you may be equally — Bless 
me, is it possible ! Why, here comes the very man him- 
self;" and I pointed to an elderly person in black, who 
was walking slowly along the road towards us. 

" D — n it, you don't say so !" exclaimed Justinian, drop- 
ping, in the alarm of the moment, all his assumed sanc- 
tity ; and then, without stopping to look behind him, or 
even wishing me adieu, he waddled off with a grotesque 
and ungodly speed, worthy of the most flagitious son of 

When I had recovered from the laughter which the suc- 
cess of this ingenious stratagem had occasioned, I rejoined 
the crowd, whom I found prepared to move on again to Tal- 
leen, with the body of the slain otter borne triumphantly 
before them on a pole. 



When we reached the village, we found a large party 
in readiness to receive us, who no sooner caught sight of 
our trophy than they set up a lusty halloo, which brought 
about us the whole village-school, to whom, at the squire's 
particular request, the pedagogue had granted a holiday, 
and who now followed in our wake towards the place of 

This was on an isthmus that divided the two Talleen 
lakes, and once formed the site of a monastery, within 


whose ruins — the rank grass and -weeds having with some 
difficulty been cleared away — a huge tent was erected, 
capable of containing at least thirty persons, in the centre of 
which was placed a long table, or rather a collection of tables. 

About this tent, cooks and servants were now hum- 
ming, busy as bees; hampers, too, of wine, ale, and spirits, 
baskets of all sorts of provender, were strewed about in 
every direction ; together with boxes full of hay, in which 
glasses, crockery, plate, &c, were packed up ; while just 
at the edge of the land, where it jutted upon the water, 
a whole sheep was roasting before a fire that hissed and 
roared, and threw out a broad red glare, like a black- 
smith's furnace. 

If one of the old monks, thought I, could now pop his 
head out of the grave, how he would stare at the scene 
here presented to his eyes ! Yet why so 1 It can be no 
novelty to him. These walls, though they have been 
silent for centuries, must have witnessed many a jolly 
carousal in their time. Yes, yes, the ghostly fathers, no 
doubt, made hay while the sun shone, and drained the 
cup of enjoyment to the dregs. But they are all gone 
now. Possibly, at this very moment, I am treading on 
the grave of my lord abbot. 

Lewis, who seemed to divine my thoughts, said, " I 
see you are surprised at my uncle's choice of site, and no 
wonder. To me it appears little short of an insult to the 
genius loci. However, it's no use to argue the matter. 
The snugly-sheltered site of the monastery has prevailed 
with Mr. Gryffyths over every other consideration." 

At this moment the squire, who had been busy replying 
to the congratulations of the villagers, joined us, with 
some half-dozen chubby boys and girls pulling away at his 
iacket, to each of whom he gave a large lump of ginger- 
bread, which he had bought in the village for that pur- 
pose. Immediately on entering the ruins, he summoned 
the whole party about him, and told us that each man 
might employ himself as he pleased, for that we had yet 
three good hours before us. 


This had the effect of dispersing the company. Some 
seized a gun, others embarked on the lake in a coracle, 
while others, among whom were the squire and Caustic, con- 
tented themselves with fitting a huge artificial fly to a whip- 
cord line, and trying their piscatory skill along the banks. 
I did the same ; but, meeting with my usual luck, soon 
threw aside my rod, and scrambled up the side of a moun- 
tain that rose somewhat precipitously from the lake. 
From this height I commanded a fine panoramic view. 
The dwindled lakes, with the coracles flitting like fairy 
shallops across their surface, lay glittering in the sunshine 
at my feet ; while from the heart of the old monastic ruin 
came up the rude sounds of laughter, strangely at variance 
with its venerable, melancholy aspect. A few yards be- 
yond, at the extremity of the first lake, stood the village 
of Talleen, the smoke from whose chimneys ascended like 
an incense to heaven ; and, far as the eye could discern, 
the horizon was bounded, to the north by the Cardigan 
crags, and to the east by the long billowy range of the 
Black Mountains, with Llynn-y-van towering high above 
them all, like a Titan petrified. 

Having satisfied my gaze, I was just preparing to 
ramble off in the direction of Edwinsford, when my ear 
caught the well-known "halloo" of the squire; and, 
descending in the direction whence the sound proceeded, 
I saw him darting to and fro along the banks of the lake, 
and manoeuvring so vigorously with a fish of nearly equal 
strength that it seemed a moot point whether he should 
pull the creature out of, or it should pull him into the water. 

" A fine fellow," observed the squire, as I congratulated 
him on the chances of victory. " A noble fellow — weighs 
upwards of fourteen pounds, if he weighs an ounce. 
Davis, bear a hand here with the landing-net. Ah ! 
there he goes — by Jove, I shall lose him !" and the brute, 
who for a few seconds had been lying quite sulky, made 
a sudden plunge that set the waters in a foam around 
him. In an instant he rose again, and darted off among 
the weeds, from which sprung out a frightened wild-duck, 


which was instantly brought down by Lewis' gun, much 
to the delight and astonishment of his uncle, who observed 
that, notwithstanding his " verses and such-like," he had 
always entertained a good opinion of the lad's abilities. 

The fish, snugly couched among the weeds, was now again 
quiet ; but, on Mr. Gryffyths proceeding to wind up the 
reel, he made another dart, drawing after him the whole 
length of the line, so that the squire was actually com- 
pelled to wade knee-deep among the rushes ; and, to my 
remonstrating with him on the danger he was running of 
a relapse, bluntly replied, " Curse the gout ! do you think 
I will lose the fish V 7 

"But there Was not the slightest prospect of such a loss, 
for the creature was, by this time, quite spent ; and after 
rolling about heavily, like a black log on the water, turned 
upward on his back, his head sinking in the stream, and 
was thus drawn to land. Just after this came up the rest of 
our party, bearing with them a fine show of wild-fowl ; 
so that, what with one thing, and what with another, the 
day, as the squire significantly remarked, was one of the 
best-spent he had ever known. 

"We now prepared for our return to the monastery, 
attracted thither by a huntsman's horn, which was the 
signal that all was ready for our accommodation. And 
a glorious sight awaited us within its old walls ! The 
tables groaned beneath the weight of a thousand dainties. 
Rich venison pasties, game of every description, hares, 
fowls, tongues, and hams, the stately sirloin, and the 
irresistible haunch, embellished the upper table ; while 
at the lower smoked an entire sheep, right before which 
stood the squire's bailiff, with his coat-sleeves tucked up, 
his elbows rounded, and a gravity in his countenance that 
indicated a becoming consciousness of the importance of 
his vocation. 

Dinner over, a full glass of choice port was handed 
round, not only to every guest at table, but also to every 
one who thought it worth while to attend ; and, from 
time to time, nearly the whole village poured in on us, 


the squire's anniversaries being well known and appre- 
ciated throughout the district ; after which, on a given 
signal from the parson, our host's health was proposed, 
and drunk with enthusiasm. 

Mr. Gryffyths' reply was brief, and to the point, and 
even Caustic was pleased to declare that, considering all 
things, it was not so much amiss; "but," he added, "of 
all the speakers I ever heard, commend me to my old 
friend Major Tipple." 

"What!" replied the parson, "have we got that old 
major again 9 This is the third time I have heard his 
name to-day." 

By the splenetic tug he gave at his shirt-collar, I could 
perceive that the captain was bristling up for a wrathful 
repartee, so I interposed to preserve peace by saying, " It 
is a long time, Caustic, since the old monastery has known 
such a jolly day as this." 

"Well thought of," said the squire ; "let us drink to 
the memory of the monks and their abbot. Doubtless, 
doctor, you are surprised at my choosing a site like this. 
I used to keep the day at Gryffyths, but there were always 
such strange goings on in the course of the evening be- 
tween some of my young guests and the maid-servants — 
for you can't put old heads on young shoulders, you know 
— that my poor wife made me promise never to hold 
another within doors. But, gentlemen, I see you're 
waiting ; so here's to the memory of the monks, and my 
lord abbot. Ah ! he was a hearty old cock, I'll warrant. 
Took his wine like a gentleman. But so, for that matter, 
do most Churchmen. Hey, parson 1 ? No offence, I hope 1" 

" None in the least," responded the divine, with a sly 
affectation of demureness ; " no man, to be discreet, ha? 
a greater relish for the innocent enjoyments of lite than 
I have ; thotigh Heaven forbid I should ever be tempted 
to exceed the bounds of modest vivacity." 

" No ! no !" said the captain sneeringly, " that you 
never will, while that old-seasoned cask of yours can hold 
its two or three bottles on an emergency." 


" So mucli the better ; glad to hear it," said the squire ; 
" all honest fellows are fond' of their bottle. I like a 
moderate glass myself. Parson, a song. Come, let's have 
' The Storm ;' it's an old favourite of mine." 

But there was no occasion to call for a storm, for one 
was already brewing. An allusion having been made, 
by one of the farmers at the lower table, to his Majesty's 
visit, an angry political discussion took place, which at 
length reached such a height that an appeal was made by 
some of the more modei'ate to the squire, who no sooner 
understood the cause of the quarrel than his hot Welsh 
blood was up in an instant ; and, giving the table a thump 
with his brawny fist that set all the glasses clattering, he 
said, "Harkee, gentlemen, this is Liberty Hall, where 
every man is free to do or say just what he pleases. 
Nevertheless, I'll have no politics talked here. The very 
next man who offends in that way shall swallow a 
bumper of salt and water ; so strike up, parson, and let 
lis have no more interruption." 

Thus requested, the curate commenced his bravura ; 
but scarcely had he got through the first verse, when Mr. 
Gryffyths, turning round, said, " Halloo ! where's Lewis ] 
Stole away ?" 

"Your nejDhew," I replied, "left us about an hour 
since. The wine, I fear, disagreed with him, for I saw 
him change countenance as he rose from table." 

"Just what I suspected. I'm afraid I shall never 
make anything of that lad. It's a thousand pities, for 
his intentions are good — but — such a head ! However, 
to do the boy justice, he brought down that bird very 
cleverly this morning. Gone off ! Well, well, no matter, 
provided he has not taken the punch-bowl along with 
him. Thomas, bring in the punch-bowl." 

This was the signal for the introduction of a huge 
flowered china bowl, which the bailiff, preceded by two 
servants, brought up with infinite pomp, and placed 
before the squire, who, while helping us to its contents, 
took caro to let us know that it was a bowl of vast 

a bashful irishman. 201 

antiquity, and such a favourite Avith his father that he 
had bequeathed it to him by a separate codicil in his will. 

" A noble bowl, no doubt," said the captain ; " if one 
could but see it." 

" See it ! I see two," hiccupped a voice from the lower 

" A good hint, captain," said the squire ; u ho ! lights 
there ;" and in a few minutes a profusion of torches 
brought from the village blazed up in all parts of the 
monastery, throwing a wild, ghastly aspect on the ruins ; 
while lamps and lanterns were lit within the tent, the 
whole forming one of the most singular and impressive 
spectacles I ever witnessed. 

When the squire had helped those within his own 
immediate neighbourhood, room was made for the bowl 
to take its rounds, which it did with a rapidity that soon 
produced very visible effects. The curate began to 
indulge us with a variety of sporting anecdotes ; the 
captain to recapitulate the virtues of Major Tipple and 
his East India madeira ; and the squire to enforce the 
still more expeditious circulation of the bowl, in such 
terms as " Push her along, captain ! parson, she's at 
anchor alongside you ; shove her off, man, shove her off; 
that's right ; there she goes ; huzza ! blessings on her 
sweet face. I remember my poor father — " 

Before he could finish his anecdote, he was interrupted 
by a second squabble, which was not appeased without 
difficulty ; because all kept shouting away, each at the 
very top of his lungs, and not a soiil among them all knew 
or cared what it was he was wrangling about. Even the 
squire's stentorian voice was unheard among the din ; 
and it became necessary, therefore, to disperse the assem- 
bly, which could only be done by the elite of the com- 
pany resolving on instant departure. 

This, at the curate's instigation, was accomplished j 
and the squire, much against his will, was prevailed on to 
make the first move ; but not before he had left injunc- 
tions with his major domo to take especial care of the 


punch-bowl, of which he was as proud as ever was Mag* 
nus Troil of the "Jolly Mariner of Canton." 

As he rose from his seat, I could perceive that his con- 
vivial exertions had made him a little unsteady ; so 1 
offered him my arm, which he accepted, muttering, as we 
kept teaching on towards the village, " Singular, how weak 
that gout has left me. Steady, doctor, steady ; keep to 
the right, or I shall have to fish you out of a horseponcl ;" 
and he made a lurch to windward, which very nearly 
threw me on my beam-ends. 

At length, after encountering various perils by land 
and water, that guardian angel which never fails to 
befriend virtue in extremity enabled us to reach the vil- 
lage in safety, where we found the crazy old rumbling 
family coach waiting at the inn the squire's arrival; 
who, after making inquiries respecting Lewis, was in- 
formed by the compassionate landlady that the " poor 
young man was ill abed, with a sort of a nervous head- 
ache like." 

"A what?" said Mr. Gryffyths, with huge contempt; 
" a nervous headache ? Never heard of such a thing in 
all my life ! If it had been the gout, indeed — but nerves ! 
What will he have next, I wonder?" and, thus spe- 
culating, the squire took his place in the carriage, and 
offered me a place beside him ; while the rest of the party 
followed shortly afterwards in waggons, which had been 
duly matted and fitted up with benches for their accom- 



My time was now, for the first time since my entrance 
into South Wales, beginning to pass very much to my 
satisfaction, I was here, there, and everywhere ; now 
sentimentalising with the nabob, now waxing convivial 
with the squire, and now discussing local politics with 


Caustic and my brother-in-law at the Bed Lion. I must 
confess I should have preferred a more enlarged sphere of 
action ; but this being just now wholly out of the ques- 
tion, I had nothing left for it but to make the most of 
my situation. 

But prosperity, like adversity, is not without its draw- 
backs. If it was fortunate fo? me in one sense that I 
extended my connexions among the more respectable 
circles, in another it was far otherwise ; for it called forth 
the jealousy of the narrow-minded coterie at the Bed 
Lion, who could not understand upon what principle of 
justice or common-sense it was that I was more looked 
up to than themselves. Much of my luck was attributed, 
as a matter of course, to my profession ; still the club, 
with the exceptions of Caustic and Mr. Davis, could not, 
or would not, be brought to acknowledge that a man 
who but the other day came among them as an ad- 
venturer, with scarce a penny in his pocket, had now any 
right to affect the superior. 

For some few weeks, however, their feelings were con- 
fined to sneering insinuations and significant shrugs of 
the shoulders, whenever my name happened to be men- 
tioned ; but by degrees they assumed a more offensive 
character. First it was hinted that I gave myself unwar- 
rantable airs ; and secondly, that there was something 
mysterious about me : whereupon the gossips would revert 
to my first appearance, without any ostensible motive, 
among them, and hope that all would be right " this time 
next year." 

Unfortunately, so far from endeavouring to soften this 
hostile disposition, as any rational being in my peculiar 
situation would have done, I only increased its acerbity 
by my show of utter indifference — an act of suicidal folly 
which was very soon brought home to me in a way that 
I could never have anticipated. 

It ahppened one day when I dined with Mr. Gryrij chs 
he was so delighted with my queer, broad stories that in 
the exuberance of his satisfaction, he promised that when 


Lord Lwarrys returned to the castle he would take an 
opportunity of introducing rne to him. This was the 
very thing I most coveted, for I knew that, if I could but 
once gain such an influential patron, there was nothing 
in the way of professional advancement that I might not 
calculate on during my stay in South Wales ; so hurrying 
home in high glee, I just stopped to communicate the news 
to my wife, and then stepped over the way to the Red 

Never was I in better condition — never fuller of anec- 
dote and vivacity than on this disastrous evening. Not 
a remark was thrown off — as Mr. Gryffyths would say 
— but I followed in full cry at its heels with some opposite 
■pun or joke; and this with so little effort, and such invin- 
cible good-nature, that, despite their late prejudices, the 
coterie again began to look on me, if not with positive 
good- will, at least with something not very far removed 
from it. 

But one among the assembled party — ominous unit ! — 
was silent amid the general mirth. Where others affected 
the conciliatory, he merely sneered, at the same timekeep- 
ing his eyes fixed on mine with a marked pertinacity that 
attracted the attention of the whole room, and at length 
so annoyed me that, thrown off my guard, I said cavalierly, 
" Are my face and figure to your liking, sir i" 

" Less, perhaps, than you may suppose," replied the 
fellow; "for I have seen both before, and that not very 
long since, under circumstances which — " 

" Circumstances 1" exclaimed one and all in a breath ; 
" what circumstances V 

"Oh, no matter. Mr. Fitz— What-d'ye-call-'em" (with 
a sneer), " I dai*e say, will understand me." 

My nerves, always delicate, misgave me at this trying 
moment, and I began to run over in my mind what the 
fellow could possibly allude to. Had he met me on the 
Continent'? Had he known me as an actor at Molly- 
moreen, or as an editor in London 1 Had he been engaged 
with me in the election-scenes at Humbug ? Had he been 


an eye-witness of my flight from prison 1 Impossible, for 
surely I should have recollected him ! Still, despite this 
conviction, I felt far from comfortable, and would gladly 
have beaten a retreat ; but for the life of me, I could not 
summon up a plausible excuse, so there I sat, nailed to 
my chair, while not less than a dozen pair of eyes, opened 
to their widest extent, kept glaring on me like so many 

The suspicions of the company being once roused, they 
insisted on following up the conversation, notwithstanding 
I made repeated attempts to divert it; till, driven to des- 
peration, like a stag at bay, I fixed a menacing look on 
the stranger, and said, " Who or what you may be, sir, 
that thus claim an acquaintance — " 

" Acquaintance, sir 1 God forbid !" 

" Why, what is the meaning of all this T said Caustic 
peevishly ; " if you have anything to say against Eitz- 
maurice, sir, out with it. No friend of mine shall have 
his character sneered away in this manner. Fair play's 
a jewel ; so on with your story, man, and be — "' 

" Aye, on with it," cried out a dozen voices at once. 

I was so much struck with Caustic's generous bluntness, 
that for a few minutes I was wholly unable to say a word ; 
at length, deriving confidence from the reflection that I 
had at least one friend in the room, I resumed my address 
to the stranger as follows : — " Who, or what you may be, 
sir, that thus affect a recollection of me, I know not ; I 
have mixed much with the world in my time, especially 
in the metropolis ; and my friend the auctioneer here, 
who has done the same, knows well that under such cir- 
cumstances a man meets with strange acquaintances. ISTo 
offence to you, sir." 

I threw out this flattering insinuation for the purpose 
of conciliating the auctioneer, who, however, took no notice 
of it further than by a surly " Humph !" on which I con- 
tinued my address : " It is not unlikely, therefore, sir, 
that I may have met with you before ; but most assuredly, 
wherever it was that this rencounter took place, there can 


be no circumstances attending it which I should wish to 

The stranger was stung with the determined coolness 
of my manner, which was not without its effect on the 
company, and, being moreover somewhat touched by fre- 
quent libations of brandy and water, he replied, " Since 
you say that you have no wish to forget the circumstances 
under which I last met you, I can have no hesitation in 
publicly bringing them to your recollection. But first of 
all, I should tell you that I am traveller for the firm of 
Hoax and Co., wholesale chemists in Humbug." 

The club pricked up their ears at this exordium. The 
attorney was particularly attentive, and no sooner heard 
the word "Humbug" mentioned, than he stole quietly 
out of the room — a movement which filled me with 

" Humbug! Humbug!" said I ; "true, I passed throxigh 
it some months since on my road to South Wales ; and, 
now I think of it, I do remember having had the good 
fortune to spend an evening with you at the White Lion. 
I am glad you bring the matter to my recollection. Your 
health — I hope you left your family well at home ?" 

I could see that the company were disappointed at this 
simple solution of what had appeared to them a most im- 
portant mystery ; the auctioneer especially muttered halt- 
audibly between his teeth, " Pshaw ! is that all ?" but, 
together with the others, he was soon relieved from his 
disappointment by the stranger replying, " You're mis- 
taken, sir ; I have no family, nor am I married !" 

" Bless me, how forgetful I am ! I recollect you told 
me you were a bachelor, and amused me uncommonly, too, 
by your quizzical allusions to the married state. What 
a capital joke that was of yours about the fat widow of 
Clifton !" I added ; for necessity is the mother of invention, 
and I felt the importance of putting the fellow into good- 

The man stared at me as if I had been a ghost. 

" Fat widow ! Clifton ! White Lion, sir ! I never 


spent an evening with you at the White Lion. I never 
told you a story about a fat widow. I never joked with 
you about the married state. I am a plain, blunt man of 
business, and detest joking. I never cracked a joke in all 
my life, and never meant it." 

" Well, well, my good sir, there's no occasion to put 
yourself into such a passion. I might have known from 
your face you were no joker." 

" And from yours I might have known, what I'll take 
care the company shall know, too, that you are a — swindler. 
There, sir, what do you think of that for a joke V 

My face burned like scarlet at this insult. " Sir," I re- 
plied, " you are a scoundrel, but your condition protects 
you. It is clear to me, as it must be to every one else 
in the room, that you are drunk — shocking drunk. I 
might have told you so before, but a false delicacy 
prevented me." 

" And no false delicacy shall prevent my exposing you 
as you deserve." The fellow then, with the most tedioxis 
circumlocution, went through the history of my con- 
nexion with Alderman Snodgrass ; of my conduct during 
the election, where he first saw me on the hustings ; of 
the proceedings that had been instituted against me, in 
consequence of my "deliberate fraiids on one who had 
proved himself my best friend ;" of my arrest, imprison- 
ment, flight — in a word, of the whole of my political 
career during my residence in that most villanous of all 

"But his name?" inquired the attorney, who had re- 
entered the room while the man was in the midst of his 
statement ; " you have forgotten to tell us that." 

" His name is O'Blarney ; though, it seems, lie now 
calls himself Fitzmaurice." 

" So I thought," replied the man ol law, "and" — wink- 
ing sagaciously at the company — "I have had my sus- 
picions a long time on the subject, though I said nothing 
about it ; but now, in order to be quite sure of my man, 
I have brought with me an old number of the Humbug 


paper, wherein this same Mr. O'B , alias Mr. F , 

is described as not only having been guilty of all that this 
gentleman has alleged against him, but as having been 
seen on the night of the conflagration in company with a 
convicted felon who assisted to rob the ordinary of the 

The parson here fairly groaned aloud. " What, rob a 
clergyman ? Oh, the sacrilegious villain ! Hanging is 
too good for him." 

"I am sorry for you, Mr. Fitz — O'Blarney — or what- 
ever else may be your name," said Caustic. " Your pecu- 
niary difficulties I could have sympathised with, for all 
gentlemen are liable to accidents of this sort ; but your 
ingratitude to your friend and benefactor — this is what 
no man of honour can overlook ; so the sooner you vanish 
the better." 

-' Eight, captain," said the auctioneer, " I never half 
liked the fellow's looks. If he had been one of the allied 
sovereigns, he could not have given himself greater airs." 

" And he's my brother-in-law !" gasped forth Mr. Davis. 

Before I could reply to these nattering innuendoes, the 
attorney had pulled out the Humbug journal from his 
pocket, and, putting on his spectacles, commenced reading it 
aloud ; but scarcely had he got through the first sentence, 
when I snatched it from his hands, tore it into a thousand 
fragments, and, flinging them in his face, said, " This is a 
monstrous conspiracy, got up for the sole purpose of ruin- 
ing an innocent ■ man ; but, sir," turning fiercely towards 
the traveller, " rely on it, you shall pay dearly for your 
outrageous calumnies, and this before another week is over 
your head ;" and so saying, I rushed towards the door, 
taking the company so completely by surprise that not a 
soul attempted to stop me. 

When I reached the street, I stood for a moment like 
one bewildered, so sudden had been the blow, and with 
such stunning severity had it fallen on me. Nevertheless 
an immediate decision was necessary. Ruin stared me in 
the face. By the morrow the stranger's calumnies would 


be in general circulation throughoitt the valley ; and not 
only would my prospects be for ever blasted in South 
Wales, but intelligence also of the place of my retreat 
would reach Humbug. 

The last consideration decided me, and remembering 
luckily that the Milford-Haven coach would in a few 
minutes pass the end of the street, and halt at the Towy- 
bridge Inn, I resolved on taking my departure by it — but 
whither, I was not just then sufficient master of myself to 

Having come to this decision, I rushed full-speed home. 
My wife met me at the door. "Good news — glorious 
news, my dear," said T, rubbing my hands with affected 
ecstasy ; " I have just heard from a friend at the Red 
Lion, by the merest accident in the world, that my old 
uncle at Pembroke — you must remember my often speak- 
ing of him — now lies at the point of death, and desires to 
see me instantly, with the view, no doubt, of making me 
heir to his vast property." 

"Well, I declare," replied Mrs. Fitzmaurice, "this i3 
just what I expected. I said only at breakfast-time, some 
luck would befall us, for I dreamed last night — " 

" Quick, quick, my dear, I have no time to listen to 
dreams now. The mail will pass the end of Llandwarrys 
within ten minutes ; so give me twenty pounds for my 
travelling-expenses, as I may perhaps be detained some 
little time at Pembroke." 

" Twenty pounds, Fitzmaurice ! That is a large sum ; 
I should think ten would do." 

" No, no ; nothing under twenty, and do pray be 
quick. There is not a moment to lose." 

Grumbling, yet still with more alacrity than she ever 
before evinced on such occasions, Mrs. Fitzmaurice 
hastened to her secret escritoire, and in a few minutes 
returned with the requisite suni, just as I heard the coach 
clattering along the end of the street, and the well-known 
footstep of Mr. Davis hastening across the road from the 
Red Lion. 

* U 


"There, Fitzraaurice," said my wife, thrusting the 
money into my hands, " there's twenty pounds for you. 
Now, mind you husband it carefully. You'll have no 
need to stop on the road, and with respect to the 
coachman — " 

" Good-bye, my dear, I — " 

" You'll be sure to write and let me know how your 
uncle is." 

"Yes, yes." 

"And with respect to the coachman — " 

" I can't wait, God bless you ;" and with these words I 
hurried off to the Towy-bridge, my wife calling after me, 
" Be sure you only give the coachman sixpence ; some 
folks, I know, give a shilling ; but you will go outside, of 
course, so sixpence will be quite enough." 

And thus abruptly terminated my rustication in a 
"Welsh village, to the great vexation of the undertaker, 
who had been induced, on the strength of it, to set; up Lis 
one-liOTrie chaise. 






" Hail, land of my earliest and best affections ! Long, 
too long have I been a reluctant wanderer from thy shores; 
but now I return, friendless indeed, but in manhood's 
prime, to associate thine interests with mine, to attach 
myself to thine injured sons, to live with them — to plead for 
them — to suffer for them — and, if necessary, to die for 
them. Oh ! what are the enjoyments of wealth, rank, or 
intellect, compared with those which visit the pilgrim's 
heart, when, after many wanderings by sea and land; after 
many misfortunes, aggravated haply by his own indiscre- 
tions, or, what is oftener the case, by the ingratitude of 
others, he once more treads the green turf of his native land! 
Oh, never till now did I feel the full magic of that little 
word — country. Now, indeed, I am at home. Every face 
I see wears a friendly and familiar smile ; every tongue 
is tipped with a brogue that is more than music to my 


Such were my reflections as I sat alone in my lodgings 
in Dublin, gazing from an open window at the crowds that 
passed below. Soon, however, my reverie was cut short 
by a tremendous chorus of voices raised in every conceiv 
able variety of intonation. Looking- up the street to see 
what occasioned such dissonance, I beheld, slowly advancing 
along the pavement, a tall, burly gentleman, followed 
closely by a pretty considerable sprinkling of the seven 

As the stranger drew near the spot over which I was 
stationed, I had ample leisure to scrutinise him. Appa- 
rently he was between forty and fifty years of age ; cheer- 
ful and comely in face, with an eye slightly puckered up 
to the ang-les, and expressing- infinite shrewdness and 
humour. His build was atlantean, particularly about 
the shoulders, which looked as though they were capable 
of sustaining the weight of the two fattest Protestant 
bishops of the most oppressed country on earth. 

And who was this Patagonian peripatetic, who walked 
and talked as though he should say, " I am Sir Oracle, let 
no clog bark when I do speak ! " Who but the mighty 
Agitator — 0' Cromwell ! 

On what trifles do the leading events of life at times 
depend ! The fall of an apple made Newton a philosopher ! 
The sig-lit of O'Cromwell confirmed me a — patriot ! My 
wandering resolves — my undecided speculations — were 
called home and fixed at once. I felt the soul of Brutus stir 
within me. "Yes," said I, in a sudden transport of enthusi- 
asm, " I too will devote myself, body and soul, like a Han- 
nibal or a Plunket, on the altar of my country. I have 
got the best of all patriotic requisites, an empty pocket." 
It is astonishing what a fierce, outrageous love of country 
throbs in the bosom of him who has scarcely a sixpence in 
the world. Oh, to be as powerful as O'Cromwell ! To be 
followed, like him, by the shouts of admiring thousands; 
to have the pulses of a nation beat as those of an indivi- 
dual, at one's slightest word and action; to be the barometer 
by which the funds are regulated, and the movements of 


troops decided ; to be the bugbear of cabinets, freedom's 
bulwark and despotism's scourge ; idolised on the banks 
of the St. Lawrence, execrated beside the Danube and the 
Neva : oh for but one day, one hour, to wield the sceptre 
of this mighty demagogue ! 

Such were the ambitious aspirations of my newly 
awakened patriotism. Virtuous wishes! How have they 
been repaid ! 

Next day a grand Catholic meeting was held at the 
Corn Exchange. I went, and 3 o, the Agitator ! He was 
seated in smiling dignity at the upper end of the room, 
listening to a thin, sallow, acetous orator, who looked as if 
be had been begotten of a crab-apple on a vinegar- cruet ; 
and who was pouring forth hot words of spleen and pas- 
sion, while his every feature appeared convulsed, like the 
Delphic priestess under the influence of oracular inspiration. 

No sooner had this atrabilarious Demosthenes resumed 
bis seat, than silence for a few minutes ensued ; and then 
a loud, unanimous call for O'Cromvvell, which that illus- 
trious individual was by no means slow to obey. 

He commenced in dulcet accents ; but when fairly 
launched into his theme — the enormous injuries inflicted on 
Erin by the sister-country — he recapitulated those injuries 
in a style and with a spirit that absolutely electrified his 
audience, whose attention be kept on the stretch for full 
four hours ; when, the business of the day being at an end, 
be sailed away like some triumphant seventy-four, with a 
tumultuous mob in his wake ; and next day six columns of 
his " winged words" were on their way to every nook and 
corner of the three kingdoms. 

" Here's fame!" said I, as I slowly and thoughtfully 
quitted the place of meeting, "here's power! Here's all 
that man can desire ! No wonder that the weaver quits 
his loom — the smith his forge — the labourer his plough — 
the clerk his desk — the apprentice his counter — that all 
professions, all trades, are at a stand-still throughout Ireland 
— when expert enthusiastic patriots like these ply hourly 
the wholesome task of agitation." 


On turning- down Sackville-street, on my road back to 
my lodgings, I heard a familiar voice pronounce my name; 
and looking round, beheld my old colleague Donovan, 
with whom, it may be recollected, I had bad a little dis- 
pute in London, touching a certain libel for winch he 
wished to make me responsible. He was now engaged as 
a reporter on a Dublin journal, and filled up bis leisure 
hours by occasionally holding forth at the Corn Exchange. 

To meet Donovan, and to ask him to dinner, were the 
acts of one and the same moment. I had long since for- 
given his behaviour to me, and as he seemed equally 
disposed to be conciliatory, we agreed to adjourn to a 
neighbouring tavern and pass a social evening together. 

There are few greater pleasures in life — few that more 
actively call forth our dormant sympathies — than sudden 
meetings of this sort ; more especially after time, absence, 
and continual commerce with the world have wrought 
their usual blighting effects on our feelings, They are like 
sunny glimpses of spring bursting forth in the midst of 
winter ; we feel that they are born and will die with the 
day, and relish them for their very evanescence. 

In the course of the evening, when the good cheer had 
opened our hearts, Donovan gave me the history of that 
" cursed libel," which, it seems, had not only been the 
means of subjecting him to fine and imprisonment, but had 
saddled him besides with a host of legal expenses, which 
he was only enabled to liquidate by the sale, at a heavy 
loss, of his Sunday journal. " However," he added with 
vivacity, when he had brought his narrative to a close, 
" these things are all done with now ; I have quitted 
London for ever, and am here a fixed resident in Dublin, 
where I have been upwards of three months. But what 
brings you over the water? A truant disposition, or a 
pressing necessity ?" 

" Ob, the old story, necessity," I replied. And with- 
out entering too minutely into the history of my adventures 
since we last parted (for I am naturally delicate in alluding 
to my own private affairs), I contented myself with a brief 


rambling* sketch, and then proceeded to ask advice as to 
the best and readiest means of putting my new resolves 
into execution. 

"My good fellow," answered Donovan, "your inten- 
tions are every way worthy of you ; but here, in Dublin, 
they will be found, I fear, impracticable. The Liberal 
press is already overstocked." 

"Then what am I to do? — where betake myself?" 

11 Those are questions more easily asked than answered." 

" But surely your tact and experience can help me to 
some suggestion ? " 

" No indeed, I can't. All I know is, that in Dublin 
you have not the slightest chance. Why, even I have 
made no great hit as yet, whatever I may do hereafter ; 
how then can you? But I hate comparisons: let's talk 
of something* eise." 

But this was not what I wanted ; so, in a few minutes, 
I returned to the charge by announcing my intention of 
offering my services to the editors of the Dublin journals: 
whereupon Donovan, jealous, no doubt, of such a com- 
petitor, said, — 

" A good idea has just struck me. Why not try the 
provincial press? A county newspaper, in a Catholic 
district, will be the very thing for you. You will iind no 
rivals there ; and, by exerting due tact, may make your- 
self as popular as you please." 

" But the arena is so circumscribed." 

" Stuff! How can you tell till you try ? But suppose 
it is, you can enlarge it." 

" Yes ; but to fall back again, after all one's efforts to 
emerge from it, to the condition of a village Hampden — " 

" Better that than nothing." 

" Oh, of course ; but I am by no means sure that my 
case is yet so desperate. However, let us drop the 
subject for the present; to-morrow evening I will call and 
acquaint you with my decision." 

We separated shortly afterwards ; and the next day, 
without hinting a syllable of my intentions to Donovan, ] 


made the round of the Dublin morning' and evening 
papers, with an offer of my services; but meeting with 
equal discouragement at every office I visited, and seeing, 
moreover, that there was not a moment to be lost, I 
resolved on adopting Donovan's suggestion. 

" I congratulate you," said he, when we met pursuant 
to agreement, " on your decision. In what way do you 
propose to proceed ? " 

" By advertising. I know of no other method." 

" Humph ! Precarious, to say the least of it. Far 
better to work through the agency of private con- 

"But I have no private connection, unless, indeed, you 
can assist me." 

" Maybe I can. What say you to a trip, by way of 
experiment, to Ballinabrogue V 

"Why do you ask?" 

" For five good reasons. First, because the district is 
the most decidedly Catholic in all Ireland. Secondly, 
because it affords a fine opening for constitutional agita- 
tion. Thirdly, because the inhabitants are wealthy. 
Fourthly, because an important Catholic meeting is to be 
held there within the month, at which you may exhibit 
your eloquence to advantage. And, lastly, because the 
editor and proprietor of tha leading Ballinabrogue journal 
is my very particular friend. Here is a goodly show of 
reasons for you ! " 

"And equally unanswerable." 

" Then you will think seriously of my proposal ? " 

" I accede to it at once." 

" Good ; and I will pave the way for you by a letter of 
introduction to the proprietor in question, who, as my 
friend, will put you in the way of acquiring a connection, 
which you may extend or not as you please ; and, possibly, 
should the editorial chair be vacant, enthrone you in that 
seat of honour." 

" My dear fellow," said I, grasping him warmly by the 
hand, " I am eternally your debtor," 


" Just what my confounded tailor says of me, whenever 
I chance to meet him." 

" What is the name of the gentleman to whom you are 
going - to introduce me?" 

" Flannaghan ; and you'll find him as able and willing 
to assist you as any man that ever breathed." 

" Thank God for that; for I never was in more need of 
a friend : " with which words we parted ; and early on 
the following day, having received testimonials, letters of 
introduction, and so forth, I mounted his majesty's mail, 
and made the best of my way to Ballinabrogue. 

Nothing of the slightest importance occurred during 
the journey, except that the coach was stopped on the 
road, the guard robbed of the mail bags, and the coach- 
man twice shot at from behind a hedge. 



The first thing I did on reaching Ballinabrogue was to 
ensconce myself in a suitable lodging; the second, to find 
out the proprietor of the county journal, by whom, as an 
old acquaintance of Donovan, I calculated on being 
favourably received. 

Mr. Flannaghan, however, happened to be out when I 
called, engaged as witness on a trial at the quarter 
sessions ; whereupon, leaving my credentials enclosed in 
an explanatory note, I placed it in the clerk's hands, with 
a special request that he would tell his master, the instant 
he came back, that the person who left the letter would, 
himself call for an answer in the course of the day. 

In the evening, accordingly, I presented myself 
at the office, and was ushered into the proprietor's private 
room. I found him just as Donovan had described him, 
a frank, jovial, good-natured Irishman — one of that class 


of beings with whom one is at home in an instant. Yet, 
though social in temperament, Mr. Flannaghan was not 
without strong political feelings, being- a staunch Catholic 
and an equally staunch O'Cromwellite. I know not that I 
have anything further to observe of him, than that he was 
held in general esteem among his neighbours ; moved in 
excellent circles (for he was a gentleman by birth as well 
as by feeling), and, in point of fortune, was in what may 
be called " easy circumstances ; " and this, independently 
of the emoluments he derived from his journal, which, 
being the oldest ana the most liberal, enjoyed by far the 
greatest circulation of any newspaper in that quarter of 

Such a connection was quite a god-send to an embryo 
patriot like myself, and more especially was it of value, 
because from the fact of his being a man of substance, and 
by no means a chick in age, Mr. Flannag'han had of late 
begun to entertain certain convivial predilections, which 
at times, when politics were fiercer than usual — and such 
was the case when I made my appearance at Bailina- 
brogue — rendered the conduct of his journal not a little 
irksome to him. 

Under these circumstances, he naturally looked on me 
as an angel sent from heaven to his deliverance ; so the 
question of writing, and upon what terms, was broached, 
even on our first interview ; in the course of which I took 
care to let drop cursorily, and as if the details were drawn 
from me, a discreet sketch of the rise, progress, and ter- 
mination of my connection with the London press, to which 
Mr. Flannaghan listened with marked attention ; but 
taking for granted that, like a man of the world, he would 
believe only one-half of what I said, I was resolved that 
one-half should be such as to ensure me a favourable 

It was not till a late hour, after an agreeable and, 
considering the circumstances, quite a confidential tete-a- 
tete, that I took leave of my hospitable host. The best 
part of the next day I spent in drawing up a political 


communication in the form of a " letter from a correspon- 
dent," with a view to keep alive public interest in favour 
of the approaching Catholic meeting. As this article was 
penned con amove, I am willing - to suppose that it was 
skilfully executed ; at any rate, it answered its purpose ; 
for, being peppery and personal, it drew from Mr. Flan- 
naghan the naive acknowledgment that he could not have 
done it better himself. I should think not. But I did 
not say so. 

This communication was followed up by some five or 
six rampant leading articles, which I had the good fortune 
to find favourably noticed by the quidnuncs in the neigh- 
bourhood — so favourably, indeed, and so opportunely, as 
to induce Mr. Flannaghan, without further hesitation, to 
make over to me his editorial functions, to which he 
attached a weekly stipend, just sufficient to enable me to 
keep my head above water. 

But this was not the only kindness I received at the 
hands of this estimable individual. As our acquaintance 
strengthened, he introduced me to many respectable 
Catholics, who, fascinated by my modest demeanour, by 
the consummate knowledge I appeared to possess of the 
state of parties in Ireland, and above all, by the freshness 
and enthusiasm which I brought to the stale question of 
emancipation, treated me with signal respect and courtesy. 



The day appointed for the Catholic meeting was now 
fast approaching. For some time previous, it had been 
the theme of general discussion throughout the country, 
arraying the two parties of Papists and Protestants against 
each other more violently than ever. 

On the evening preceding it I paid a visit to Mr. 


Flannaghan, who, since his retirement, bad taken up his 
residence in a cottage just outside the town. As it was 
late when I called, I found him seated over his " nightcap," 
with a Protestant friend and neighbour, one Kelly, — 
a lean, pompons attorney, with a short body and long legs, 
like a pair of tongs, — whom I had seen in his company 
once or twice before, and who, in common with many 
other persons of the same persuasion, bore with Mr. Elan- 
naghan's politics in consideration of his excellent qualities 
as a man. The curtains were drawn, a cheerful blnze 
went roaring" up the chimney, a box of Havana cigars 
was on the table, and both gentlemen seemed imbued with 
a befitting sense of the comforts of their condition. 

Mr. Flannaghan had evidently been just delivered of 
one of his smartest anecdotes ; for when I entered, a d} r ing 
grin still lingered on his guest's countenance. 

"I can guess, O'Blarney," said the former, "what 
brings you here at this late hour. It is about to-morrow's 


"Yes; I am anxious to know whether you will attend 
or not." 

" That will depend on the weather. You'll speak, of 
course 1" 

" I can't avoid it, for the committee have placed in 
my bands one of the most important resolutions. But 
surely, sir, you'll say something, as well as the rest of us?" 

" No, no," replied Mr. Flannaghan ; " at my age men 
begin to sicken of public life." 

" I wish to fortune, Flannaghan," said Mr. Kelly, "that 
all Catholics were as sensible as yourself." 

" Why, I — certainly — do — natter — myself," drawled 
out mine host, stroking his chin with an air of much self- 
complacency, "I do flatter myself that iflhaveoneredeem- 
ing quality beyond another, it is just a sufficient stock of 
common sense to enable me to steer clear of all extremes. 
I detest your bigoted partisans who look only to their 
own side of a question." 

" That's precisely my way of thinking," rejoined Mr, 


Kelly, " and therefore it is that I feel such pleasure in 
chatting- with you. Though we sometimes differ, (as who 
do not ?) yet we always do so with temper." 

" I wish I could say as much for some other friends 
of ours. Do you remember Hourgan last Sunday at the 
news-room 1 What an ass he made of himself about 
your Attorney-general Saurin ! I never saw a man so 

" Come, come," rejoined Mr. Kelly, with a good- 
humoured smile ; " you are too severe Flannaghan. The 
fellow was warm, certainly; but then, consider, he had 
the best of the argument." 

" The worst, you mean ; men in the right never lose 
their temper." 

" Why, surely, my good fellow, you won't pretend to 
deny that William Saurin is a man of first-rate powers of 
mind ? Even his bitterest enemies allow that." 

" If for ' mind ' you will substitute ' brass,' I will agree 
with you with all my heart." 

" Hah ! hah ! I love a joke in season as well as any 
one, but this trifling is a little mistimed ; for if there be 
one man distinguished beyond all his compeers by his 
learning, his sagacity, his boldness, his stern, straightfor- 
ward integrity, Saurin is that man." 

" I acknowledge him," replied Mr. Flanaghan, " to 
be a shrewd, bold, active — " 

" Come, now, that's handsome ; that's just what I 
should have expected from you. Ah, Flannaghan, if all 
Catholics thought as you do, Ireland would not be what 
she is now — a hot-bed of sedition." 

"And if she be so, Kelly, who but your Ascendancy- 
men are to blame ?" 

' : Yoiu are hasty, my dear sir ; take time and digest 
your thoughts. Come, suppose we replenish;" and to 
saying- ; , Mr. Kelly filled his glass, and handed over the 
ladle to mine host. 

By- this time the punch was beginning to tell; seeing 
which, I turned the conversation, by inquiring of Mr. 


Kelly whether he had seen the king during his late stay- 
in Dublin. But my efforts were fruitless. The demon 
of politics had taken full possession of both gentlemen, 
who, though usually shy of discussing piiblic matters, 
yet seemed resolved, on this occasion, to make up for past 
reserves by an inordinate exhibition of candour. 

My allusion, therefore, to the royal visit, so far from 
being- productive of good, only brought matters to a 
speedier crisis; for Mr. Flannaghan, enlarging on the 
question, said, " See, Kelly, what your party have reduced 
Ireland to ! Before the king landed on these shores, we 
were, comparatively speaking, tranquil. If we had no 
great cause for hope, neither had we any for despair. 
But you took care that even this negative state of things 
should not continue ; for no sooner had his majesty made 
his appearance among us, than night and day you beset 
him, until you finally succeeded in confirming your old 
monopoly, while for us you procured — what? The barren 
honour— say, rather, the insulting mockery— of a rcyal 
letter, comprising a royal blessing, and as much 
bad garmmar as is usually to be met with in a king's 
sheep. Can you wonder that we are indignant at such 

" My dear Flannaghan," said Mr Kelly, with assumed 
calmness, "this may be all very fine ;' but, to say the 
truth, I prefer your punch to your principles. However, 
every man has a right to his own opinion." "■ 

"Bravo! I see wd alia If. mi$? ( i a convert of you at 

"Never, Mr. Flannaghan; never, sir. If i thought 
that—" \ 

"My good fellow, don't think at all. Of what use is 
reflection, if it tends only to confirm prejudice ?" i 

" No man can entertain a greater horror of prejudice 
than myself, as I think I have sufficiently proved by 
saying nothing against your frantic meeting- mf to- 


"Frantic meeting! Relv on it, Kelly, no publi 



meeting at which O'Cromwell's spirit presides can be 
otherwise than rational." 

Up to this period the attorney had kept his feelings 
under tolerable restraint, but the name " O'Cromwell " 
now caused them to boil over. 

"O'Cromwell!" said he, with vehemence, "pray don't 
mention that man's name again. Nothing but the respect 
I bear you, can make me sit still while he is made the 
subject of praise, fie has done more injury to Ireland 
than all the Bapparees or Rockites that ever robbed— 
burned — or cut a throat." 

" Fine words, Mr. Kelly ; nevertheless I think you will 
be puzzled to prove them. Did you read O'Cromwell's 

" O'Cromwell again !" 

"Yes; and why not? Once — twice — thrice — or a 
dozen times if I choose it! I say, Mr. Kelly — I say, sir, 
did you read his last speech at the Corn Exchanger 1 " 

" Not I, indeed." 

" Why, surely you are not apprehensive of being" too 
speedily convinced?" 

" This is poor trifling, Mr. Flannaghan ; but since you 
talk of reading, I wish I could persuade you to read 
Saurin's Address to the Protestants of Londonderry ; it 
would help you to a much sounder vein of thinking than 
you at present possess." 

" What ! I read Saurin ! I thank God I never yet 
perused a line of the bigot's nonsense." 

" Don't abuse a better man than yourself.'' 

« Better, Mr. Kelly !" 

"Yes, better, Mr. Flannaghan. I speak plain English, 
don't I ? How would you have me speak ? Like 

" Egad, it will be news to me indeed, when I hear, 
that you speak like him." 

" Sir,"* retorted the attorney, fiercely, " give me leave 
to tell you, that you are, without exception, the — " 

I here attempted a second time to interfere. " For 


Heaven's sake, gentlemen, cease these personalities! 
They're unworthy of friends, who, in their cooler moments 
mutually respect each other." 

"Respect!" thundered Mr. Kelly, "what respect can 
I have for one who has the assurance to condemn a man 
of whose wi'itings he confesses to know nothing." 

" That is to say, I know as much about Sauriri as you 
know about O'Cromwell." 

" Granted ; but, pray consider the difference — " 

" Consider ! I'll consider nothing." 

" Oh, very well ; I see there's no contending with 
ignorance and bigotry." 

" This to me, in my own house !" exclaimed mine host, 
starting up, and thrusting his chair behind him ; " there's 
the door, sir !" 

Mr. Kelly rose at the same moment, and with equal 
heat, while I, by endeavouring to appease him, only drew 
down his wrath on myself. 

" What business is it of yours ?" he said ; " who asked 
you for your opinion, sir ?" then, before I could reply, he 
continued, " as for you, Mr. Flannaghan, from this time 
forward, I shall take care that we never exchange another 
syllable together ;" and he rushed from the house, banging 
the street door after him like a whirlwind. 

No sooner was he gone, than " I'm astonished, 
O'Blarney," said Mr. Flannaghan, "at the strange — the 
absurd — the unaccountable prejudices which some fools 

" True ; but we, who are above such prejudices, should 
learn to make allowances for them in others." 

" Just so. I see you read my character to a T 
Throughout Lfe, it has always been my grand aim to keep 
my mind clear of prejudice of any sort, which, no doubt, 
has contributed to give me that advantage in argument 
of which you have just now seen a proof. Poor Kelly ! 
Upon my soul, I can't help pitying him, notwithstanding 
his insolence. Did you observe how foolish he looked 
when I asked him if he had read O'Cromvvell's last speech? 


Egad, I pressed him home there. He had not a word to 
say for himself — the hot, spluttering- potato !" 

I did not tell Mr. Plannaghan that he was in precisely 
the same predicament as regarded Saurin's address ; but 
contented myself with passing* a variety of delicate en- 
comiums on his singular candour and magnanimity, 
which I could see gave me a wonderful lift in his good 

Omnipotent Flattery ! Let them say what they will 
of their Alexanders, and Caesars, and Napoleons, but 
thou art the only true conqueror. 



The important day at length arrived, and all was 
excitement in Ballinabrogue and throughout the neigh- 
bourhood, for the meeting was the first provincial one of 
consequence that had taken place since his majesty's 
departure. I spare my readers any detailed account of 
it; enough to state, that it was attended by full fifty 
thousand individuals, scarcely one of whom but was 
convinced, before he quitted the hustings, that he was 
the most miserable wretch that ever crawled on the sur- 
face of the earth. 

I have said that I shall be brief in my details of this 
great meeting. But this brevity I do not intend to apply 
to my own speech, which deserves a somewhat minute 
analysis, if only for the consummate ability which all 
allowed that it displayed. 

People talk of the modesty of the young maiden 
when she first reveals the secret of her heart to the man 
she loves ; but commend me to the modesty of the young 
Irish patriot when he makes his first oratorical appeal to 
his countrymen. With what a shrinking, bashful air he 


stands before them ! In what meek, faltering-, reluctant 
accents he addresses them ! There is no swagger — no 
outrageous gesticulation — no Boabdilism or buffoonery 
about him. 'He is humbled — overpowered by a sense of 
his own unworthiness ; and to more than woman's grace 
adds more than woman's timidity. And then bis brogue ! 
What syren sweetness in its melody, calculated to elec- 
trify Almack's ! And then his language ! How full of 
unsophisticated beauties, borrowed neither from Demos- 
thenes nor Cicero ! Did you mark that brilliant meta- 
phor, proudly disdainful of sense, and scorning the 
ignoble trammels of syntax ? Again : Jupiter ! what a 
flight was there ! Our young* orator has just perched an 
cngle on the chimney-tops of Derrinane, and peopled an 
English cabinet with crocodiles. 

Thus I spoke — looked — blushed — and gesticulated, on 
this my first occasion of holding forth in public. I com- 
menced with a graceful apology for my intrusion on the 
time and patience of the meeting; but observed, that 
when I bethought me of the wrongs of unhappy Erin, 
which the stranger and the Saxon polluted with their vile 
hoof, my sensibilities would not be repressed. I then 
alluded to the atrocious system of corruption by which 
the ascendancy faction strove to perpetuate its power. I 
insisted that while there was freedom for all else in 
Ireland — while the breeze blew free over the mountain, 
the stream wandered free through the valley, the cattle 
pastured free on the moor (except when they happened to 
be pounded for tithe), while even the humblest Orangeman 
exercised the lights and privileges of a freeman — the 
Catholic alone, the legitimate inheritor of the soil, 
grovelled, prostrate in the flust, bedaubed from head to 
foot with the mud flung off from the whirling chariot- 
wheels of Protestantism, as it traversed Erin, like a pes- 
tilence, from sea to sea. Quitting this part of my theme, 
I reverted, with characteristic modesty, to my own suffer- 
ings in the cause of freedom, which I stated had been 
severe, protracted, indeed, almost without parallel j an(J 


concluded amidst a tempest of acclamation that shook all 
the bogs about Ballinabrogue. 

This able philippic, being fully reported in my own 
journal, soon found its way to the Dublin Press, by which it 
was praised or blamed, as it squared with the politics of those 
who took it up. The Catholic papers applauded it to the 
skies; the Protestant ones denounced it with equal energy. 
By the former I was dubbed a patriot ; by the latter a 
shoot from the stock of Antichrist. 

Such lavish praise and abuse re-acted, of course, on 
Ballinabrogue ; and, joined with my own personal activity, 
the zealous patronage of Mr. Flannaghan, and, above all, 
with the apt, combustible diatribes which I thundered forth 
unceasingly in my journal, had the effect of raising me 
into considerable notoriety. 

Even the haughty Protestants now thought me 
worthy of their special animosity ; and well indeed they 
might, for such was the effect that my hebdomadal apos- 
trophes to freedom had upon the Catholic peasantry, that 
Mr. Kelly was honoured by a shower of Papist brick-bats at 
midday, in the streets of Ballinabrogue ; and a Protestant 
magistrate, whose conduct on some particular occasion I 
found it expedient to call in question, was tied to a tree, 
and soundly flogged by two enormous Terry Alts. 

As a still further proof of my popularity, I may 
mention, that on the day following the meeting-, when I 
happened to drop in accidentally at the theatre, I was 
recognised by the gallery, and honoured with nine distinct 
rounds of applause. Another recog'nition, also, took 
place on this occasion, which, trivial as it appeared at tho 
time, was yet fraught with the most disastrous effect on 
my after-fortunes. The play chanced to be Hamlet, and 
who should come forward as the representative of the 
moody Dane but my old Galway friend — that friend who 
was the means of introducing me to the stage at Molly- 
moreen, and assisting" me in my first matrimonial 
speculation ! 

As I was seated in a box right over the orchestra, 


there could be no mistaking the man's identity. He was 
something 1 changed by time, which had ploughed two 
deep ruts down either side of his face; something more 
by tipple, which had coppered his nose, and encircled his 
eyes with a red watery rim; still there was the same 
reckless assumption of manner about him, which had so 
impressed my unsophisticated fancy in the little wayside 

While I sat pondering', half in sadness, half in pride, 
on the strange fatality that had thus brought us again 
together, under circumstances of so opposite a nature, he 
happened to look up, when I could see, by his sudden, 
electrical start, that the recognition had been mutual. I 
took no further notice of him at the time, but early the 
next day called at the theatre, with a view of finding- out 
his address, when I learned, to my regret, that having 
been engaged only three nights, he had quitted Ballina- 
hrogue by daylight, but where he was gone the manager 
could not inform me. Fatal miss ! But I will not 

When I look back on this period of provincial excite- 
ment, I reflect with pride on the share I had in promoting 
it. Yes, I it was who mainly contributed to raise the 
thunder storm which was to clear the labouring atmo- 
sphere ; and who put the peasantry through a wholesome, 
stirring course of arson, burglary, and abduction, in order 
that they might thereby qualify themselves for the 
great part they were afterwards destined to play as 

True it is, that some " boys ' ' were transported, and 
others hanged, for these lively outbreaks of public 
virtue ; still this was in strict accordance with the " fitness 
»f things," which from time immemorial has prescribed 
that the interests of the few should succumb to those of 
the many. It is true also, that while exhorting others to 
wrestle for their liberty, I myself made a point of keeping 
out of harm's way ; but God knows this was from no 
pusillanimous motive, but simply because it is the duty of 


a good patriot, like that of a good general, not to act 
himself, but to teach others how to act. 

Meantime weeks rolled on, and the millennium of 
freedom seemed hourly drawing near. Its spirit blazed 
up from every farm-house — its voice spoke in every bullet 
that whistled past a tithe-proctor. The agitation became 
at length so general, that it was no uncommon thing for 
an Orangeman, in accepting a neighbour's invitation to 
dinner, to insert a P.S. in his note, to the effect that he 
would come, " provided he was not shot by the way." It 
was evident from all this that the peasantry were ripe for 
independence, and that nothing - was wanting but the 
presence of a few Dublin pacificators to bid them rise en 
masse in arms. 

But as no substance is without its shadow, so no good 
but has its alloy. It is to be lamented that the peasantry 
were at times more indiscriminate in the exercise of their 
energies than they should have been. Not unfrequently 
it happened, that, in the hurry and confusion of business, 
they would shoot the wrong man, and set fire to the 
wrong house. One instance of such unpardonable blun- 
dering I will here specify : — Mr. Flannaghan's cottage 
was situated next to a tithe-proctor's, who had contrived 
to render himself odious by his indecent legal officiousness. 
Late one night, when I was passing by my worthy friend's 
house, I was astonished to find it in flames, and a vast 
mob hemming it on all sides, so as to cut off from the 
inmates every chance of escape. 

" Halloo, boys ! " said I, rushing into the midst of 
them, "do you know whose house you're burning? " 

"Arrah, sure now, it's the tithe-proctor's," said the 
man who stood next me. 

"Tithe-proctor's! It's your friend Mr. Flannaghan's, 
the best friend you ever had." 

" Oh, murder ! " replied the fellow, wringing his 
hands ; " what'll we do now 1 " 

" Aisy, Pat," said his neighbour, who was evidently a 


philosopher of the Justinian Stubbs school ; " sure one 
house is jist as good as another." 

Just at this moment Mr. Flannaghan rushed out of 
the house, with the tail of his shirt streaming" like a fiery- 
comet to the wind. No sooner was he recognised than 
the penitent mob overwhelmed him with apologies, caught 
him up in their arms, and, in spite of his shouts, protesta- 
tions, and even menaces, passed him twice through his 
own fish-pond, in order that one element might neutralise 
the injuries inflicted by another. 

But this was not the only whimsical incident that 
diversified this period of agitation. The tithe-hunts were 
equally ridiculous. From the very first moment of my 
connection with the press at Ballinabrogue, I had advo- 
cated the abolition of these imposts ; for I could not but 
see that pay-day, which, under any circumstances, is the 
day least respected in the Irish calendar, is, as regards 
tithes, held in absolute detestation. Frequent, therefore, 
and furious were my philippics on this subject ; and so 
well did they accord with the temper of those to whom I 
addressed myself, that not individuals merely, but whole 
parishes began to be numbered among the defaulters. 

Under these circumstances it became necessary to 
have recourse to the military ; who, however, were no 
sooner drawn out in marching order, than intelligence of 
their movements would be circulated far and wide by 
sentinels duly posted for that purpose at every convenient 
point ; so that by the time the troops reached the offend- 
ing district, the devil a cow, horse, ass, pig, scarcely even 
an article of furniture, was to be found in it ; all were 
carried off to the neighbouring* bogs, whither, if the 
soldiers followed, they were pretty sure to get ingulfed 
and disappear — like ghosts through a theatrical trap-door 
— amid the shouts and caperings of the " boys," and the 
encouraging melody of a dozen pipes and fiddles. Your 
Irish bog is no respecter of persons. Major, captain, 
cornet, corporal — no matter ; his " great revenge hath 


stomach for them all." I have known him to swallow- 
even a K.C.B ! 



While Mr. Flannaghan's cottage was being rebuilt, 
the ex-editor took up his abode at the house of a Catholic 
relation, by name Mahon ; a quiet, amiable, single-minded 
recluse, who lived about three miles from Ballinabrogue, 
at the head of a narrow glen, well known as one of the 
most romantic spots in the county. To this gentleman 
Mr. Flannaghan made a point of introducing me ; and, 
backed by his recommendation, to say nothing of my 
own deserts, I experienced a flattering reception. 

Mr. Mahon was a widower in easy circumstances, 
with one only child, to whom he was devotedly attached. 
With this young lady, whose lightest word was law at 
Bellevue (the name of her father's residence), I of course 
did my best to ingratiate myself, in which I so far succeeded 
that my visits were generally looked forward to with satis- 
faction; for Mr. Mahon, whose mind the untimely death 
of his wife had touched, but not soured, with gloom, had 
been for some time gradually withdrawing himself from 
society ; and all the world knows how cheering, under 
such circumstances, is the casual dropping in of a sprightly 
accommodating visitor, who has all the gossip of the neigh- 
bourhood at his fingers' ends, and is ever ready to be 
merry or grave, silent or talkative, as suits his host's 

The departure of Mr. Flaiiii&ghan, which took place 
the instant his own cottage was again ready for his re- 
ception, did not at all diminish my influence at Bellevue ; 
indeed, it served rather to strengthen it, for it made the 
inmates — especially Ellen, with whom solitude had not 
yet become a source of enjoyment — more dependent on 


me for the resources of an agreeable companionship. Ac- 
cordingly, an intimacy soon sprung up between us, which 
at length increased to such a height, that whenever my 
official duties were closed for the week, I invariably has- 
tened over to the enchanting solitude of Bellevue. 

The spot was indeed a paradise, and Ellen was its 
Eve. This young creature, just emerging from girlhood, 
was exquisitely beautiful in face and figure ; full of gentle 
life as a summer wind ; of a fond confiding* disposition ; 
artless and playful as a lamb — a being, in fact, wholly 
made up of sensibility. Oh, how different were her good 
sense and simplicity from the inordinate vanity of my first 
wife, or the stern cold avarice of my second! Neither of 
these had ever engaged my affections; the connection on 
both sides originated solely in interested motives; but 
Ellen was all disinterestedness. She loved me for myself 
alone. And no wonder, for I am a handsome fellow, and 
I care not who knows it. 

Miss Mahon and I were much together, yet, strange 
to tell, notwithstanding such favourable opportunities, I 
could not bring myself to turn them to account. Passion 
and principle kept perpetually clutching at my heart- 
strings ; while, to aggravate my sufferings, in stepped 
modesty, bepainting 1 my cheek with blushes, whenever 
any thing like an avowal of love rose to my lips. 

Between these conflicting interests, I had for some 
weeks a precious time of it, till one night, as I lay twist- 
ing and turning on a pillow which seemed stuffed with 
thorns, a bright idea struck me: — "Eureka!" said I, 
starting up, " I have found it. I will enter into a com 
promise with my conscience, by avoiding extremes, and 
pursuing the mean path of discretion and safety." 

When once I had resolved on this virtuous line of con- 
duct, it is astonishing how complete was my tranquillity. 
There is nothing like a good conscience to set a man at 
ease with himself and others. 

Meantime, scarce a day elapsed but I found some ex- 
cuse or other for making my appearance at Bellevue. I had 


always a new book to lend or to borrow, a new political 
topic to discuss with Mr. Mahon, or a new speech of 
O'Cromwell to read over to him, and to eulogise. On these 
occasions, a bed was always at my service, and after 
dinner, when papa dropped asleep in his arm-chair, Ellen 
and I would indulge in a commonplace tete-a-tete, or a 
more expressive silence; for, as my conscience would not 
allow me to betray myself by my tongue, I had nothing 
left for it but to discourse with my eyes. 

Sometimes, when the weather permitted, we would 
take a stroll together along the glen, or round by some 
romantic rocks; and there, while pausing to rest herself 
on the projecting fragment of a crag, twilight dropping' 
like a silver veil round us, Ellen would open her budget of 
legendary gossip, and affect a charming displeasure when 
she found that I was not so full of faith as herself. In 
the evening the music-room was our usual place of re- 
sort, for Ellen's harp was always at hand, and there was 
a certain something in the act of singing and listening 
that accorded wondrously well with the inclinations of 
both parties. 

Fathers and mothers, ye whose pretty daughters may 
happen also to be Philomels, bear this in mind — wherever 
there is a Philomel, there will be a Tereus ! Look sharp, 
then, after the youth who stands close behind your child, 
drinking in the intoxicating spirit of her melody. Watch 
his every glance, sit in judgment on his every respiration. 
Take care that his eye rests not too fondly on the alabaster 
bosom that heaves and swells like a soft summer sea 
beneath him ; that in stooping to turn over the music- 
leaves — oh, dangerous "position, that might thaw the icy 
virtue of an anchorite ! — his sighs disturb not the ringlets 
of the blushing girl whose face is half-turned towards him, 
and (for such sighs possess a strange power of transmigra- 
tion) pass into her own heart, and amalgamate with her 
own being; — fathers and mothers, take heed, I beseech 
you, to these things, or perndventure some fine morning 
you may find that your Philomel has flown from the 


parental nest, to chirp in one constructed for her by 

V/hen the summons to tea hurried us from the music- 
room, Mr. Mahon, invigorated by his brief snatch of sleep, 
would join lis, and then politics would usurp the place of 
sentiment; and the night would be wound up by a game 
fit chess, or backgammon, in both of which mine host de- 
lighted, the more so, as I invariably made a point of being 
beaten, with a flattering show of reluctance ; or should 
Mr. Flannaghan, which he frequently did, drop in, we 
would engage in a sober rubber at whist, till it was time 
to retire to bed. 

I have made the above confession of sentiment at the 
hazard of looking, like Falstaff, an "exceeding ass," for 
whose ears are so long as those of a lover? But no 
matter. I glory in my weakness. Besides, I have lots of 
precedents to keep me in countenance. We may be sin- 
gular in our wisdom, but there is no fear of our standing 
alone in our folly. Even the philosophic Gibbon bent the 
knee to love ; why then should I hesitate to plead guilty 
to the delicate indictment. 

In this delicious state of intoxication, then passed the 
only happy fortnight I have ever known — a fortnight of 
such full, rare sunshine, that it brought all my dormant 
virtues into blossom. But, alas ! the halcyon season was 
not destined to endure. My sun had attained its meridian, 
and was already journeying westward. 



"Well, O'Blarney," said Mr. Flannaghan, calling 
unexpectedly one morning at my lodgings, while I was 
busy making additions to my private journal, " any news 
to day 1 What say the Dublin papers '(" 


" Nothing of moment, except indeed that the Protes- 
tants in the north are beginning to get a little uneasy at 
our late ' insurrectionary movements/ as the Mail styles 

" And the Catholics too, if I may judge of others by 

" Ay, indeed !" said I, staring at him with astonish- 
ment, " how is this ?" 

" Oh, I merely mean to say," replied Mr. Flannaghan, 
" that I have always entertained a dislike to extremes, 
which recent circumstances have not a little contributed 
to strengthen. I have no objection to our struggling for 
our rights in a constitutional manner, but really, when one 
comes to have one's house burned over one's head, the 
thing becomes too serious and personal to be tolerated." 

"Yet, in struggles of this nature, occasional irregu- 
larities on the part of the peasantry must be looked for." 
"True, but why is my house to be burned down?" 
This was logic to which there was no reply ; so I con- 
tented myself with saying, " We must make allowances 
for slaves madly contending- to recover their freedom." 

" Very fine, no doubt," replied Mr. Flannaghan, im- 
patiently, " but why the devil am I, of all men in the 
world, to be sacrificed to this same freedom ? Why am I 
to be ducked in a fish-pond, and without my own consent 'I 
The truth is, O'Blarney, I don't half like these inflamma- 
tory articles of yours. Depend on it they will bring us into 
serious trouble with the government. There's that mischief- 
making Kelly is already talking about the necessity of 
proclaiming the district." 

" Why, you have cooled down of late, Mr. Flannaghan," 
said I, with an arch smile. 

" When you have been passed twice at night through 
a fish-pond, you will cool down too. But jesting apart, I 
have no longer a taste for patriotic martyrdom. With a 
man at my time of life, such distinction loses all its relish. 
Besides, Kelly, who is not without influence here, is so 


enraged with me on account of that foolish quarrel the 
other night — " 

" Depend on it, Mr. Flannaghan," said I, " Kelly's 
quarrel is with me, not you. It is here the shoe pinches. 
I am a sort of provincial O' Cromwell in his estimation, 
and you remember the scorn and loathing- with which he 
spoke of that illustrious patriot ?" 

" To be sure, he was the main cause of our dispute." 

" Well, then, if Kelly still cherishes anger towards you, 
it is solely because you were the means of mailing me 
known here. I am the more convinced of this, because he 
has already been heard publicly to declare, that he will 
not rest till has "reduced me to what he calls my level." 

"Well, no matter; so long as you keep within the 
limits of discretion, ymi may set him, or a thousand such, 
at defiance. I do not ask you to cry peccavi ; but simply 
to take care that you do not get my house burned down a 
second time. It is extremely embarrassing, and induces 
painful reflections, to awake and find one's bed-curtains 
in a state of conflagration. But I am forgetting the object 
of my visit, which was to ask you, as I suppose you have 
pretty well finished your labour for the week, to accom- 
pany me over to Bellevue. I have been promising the 
Mahons a visit for some days past." 

" Nothing will give me greater pleasure," I replied. 

" Then let us be off at once ; we have no time to spare, 
for the weather at this season of the year is not to be de- 
pended on from one moment to another ;" and with these 
words he hurried me from the room, with such extreme 
impatience, that in the haste and confusion of the moment 
I left my MS. journal open in my desk at the table. 

When we reached Bellevue, we found Mr. Mahon hard 
at work iu his garden, and Ellen with her bonnet on, just 
preparing to go out. Of course I did not hesitate an 
instant to which of the party I should devote my attention; 
so, leaving the two gentlemen together, I offered my ser- 
vicesas an escort toMissMahon, which shereadily accepted, 
and we wandered away for two or three hours, occasionally 


halting to rest at some of the cottages of Mr. Mahon's 

In the course of the evening Mr. Flannaghan and his 
host sat down to their wonted game of backgammon ; 
while Ellen and myself flew off to the piano, where we 
busied ourselves in turning' over a new number of the 
Irish Melodies. 

Among the airs, "Has Sorrow thy young' Days 
shaded?" particularly caught my fancy; whereupon 
Ellen sung it for me with a sweetness and simplicity that 
I have never heard surpassed — rarely equalled. Her 
voice was scarcely more than a gentle flute-like breathing; 
but there was such a clearness, such a rich mellowness 
in its tones, that it was impossible to resist their 
magic. Oh Music ! — but I resist the temptation of a 

When she had finished singing, " Miss Mahon," said 
I, " you are fast spoiling me for my duties as an Irish- 
man, by bidding me lose all sense of public injury in that 
of private happiness. Indeed, indeed, you have much to 
answer for." 

"Oh," she replied, laughingly, "if you are to be 
diverted from your path by every will-o'-the-wisp that 
may happen to flit across it, there is little left in you for 
me to spoil. But, tell me, what do you think of this last 
ballad of Moore's? Is it equal to his 'Love's Young- 

" Certainly not ; though tender and plaintive, it is too 
monotonous. I am loath to speak against Moore ; yet 
you must allow, Miss Mahon, that, as a national poet, he 
has defects, and great ones too?" 

" Indeed ; but I will allow no such thing." 

"So I should have thought; yet his lyrics, however 
much they may soften and captivate, seldom stir the soul 
to action like those of Burns. The majority are made to 
be sung at a lady's piano, in white kid gloves ; but who 
would think of singing ' Scots wha hae ' in such dandy 
trim ?" 


"Now don't say a word more against Moore. It's 
high treason here, I can assure you." 

" Happy poet, to call forth such praises, and from such 
lips !" 

"What is all this you are talking about?" said Mr. 
Flannaghan, rising up from the game which he had just 
finished, and advancing towards us. 

"Oh, nothing of consequence, sir," replied Ellen; "we 
were merely chatting about Moore." 

" So I could have sworn. Whenever two or three 
young folks are clustered together about a piano, Moore 
is always sure to be the theme of their discourse. But a 
word with you, Ellen. You would scarcely credit the 
difficulty I had in persuading this refractory fellow to ac- 
company me here. He kept me in his room, Heaven 
knows how long - , while he conned over a pack of trumpery 
manuscripts, just as if he were some old bachelor busied 
with his week's accounts. You must take him in hand, 
and teach him better manners." 

" He is incorrigible, I fear," retorted Ellen ; " I have 
given him up ever since I heard him speak irreverently of 
our Irish melodies." 

" Can five minutes, then, have sufficed to sink me so 
low in your estimation, Miss Mahon ? Oh, that I were 
but ten minutes younger !" 

" Five minutes, man !" said Mr. Flannaghan ; " why. 
that is a century, when spent in pulling clown a lady's idol 
before her face. But come, we must be going, Q'Blarney; 
it's later than I supposed;" and accordingly we tools 
leave of our hosts, and returned together to Ballina- 

When I reached my lodgings, the first thing' I learned 
from the servant who sat up to let me in was, that a lady 
had called who refused to give her name ; but, mention- 
ing that she was an old acquaintance, had requested to bf 
shown up-stairs, where she remained full half an hour, till 
finding that I did not return, she departed, leaving word 
that she would take an early opportunity of repeating hei 


Concluding", from the servant's description of the 
strange female, that she was Mr. Flannagan's maiden 
sister, who now and then did me the honour of a visit, but 
whom my informant had not yet seen, I took no further 
notice of the circumstance, but hurried to bed, to dream of 
Ellen and Bellevue. 



One fine evening-, after an early dinner, Mr. Mahon, 
who chanced to be in better spirits than usual, accompa- 
nied Ellen and myself in one of our favourite strolls. Our 
road, selected by him, lay through a narrow rocky pass, 
which opened, at the distance of about a quarter of a mile, 
upon a tolerably expansive valley, which was closed in on 
every side by ranges of sloping hills, except in the direc- 
tion of Ballinabrogue, where the landscape gradually rose 
into downs, or rather, wide, uncultivated moors, and sunk 
again into level land, just at the outskirts of the town. 

The pass was one that would have done credit even to 
the Highlands. It was narrow, deep sunk, and walled in 
on both sides by a rampart of rocks, piled confusedly one 
upon the other. Half-way up, and just at that spot where 
the pass opened on the valley, the rocks projected so far, 
that they nearly formed an arch over the road, which, 
with the lichens and wild shrubs that clung thickly about 
them, partially excluded day-light; so that when one 
looted through this natural tunnel, as it were, into the 
open valley beyond, the effect was singularly picturesque, 
from the bold contrasts of light and shade that at one and 
the same moment flashed upon the eye. 

When we reached this romantic spot, which was ren- 
dered still more impressive by the fitful shadows of even- 
ing, Mr. Mahon halted, and turning round to me (for I 
was close behind him, with Ellen leaning on my arm), 


said, " I never pass this place but my heart does homage 
to the genius loci, by the seriousness, amounting almost to 
melancholy, that creeps over me. Ellen, however, will 
tell you that it is a dull, unsocial spot, fit only to inspire 

" And indeed so it is, papa," replied the lively girl ; " I 
always feel as if a load were off my mind when I have 
passed it. What a gloom these frowning rocks fling down 
upon us ! No bird ever sings here, for the poor thing 
would be startled at the sound of its own voice. Pray let 
us hasten on to the valley. I can breathe freely there, 
but this horrid place quite stifles me." 

" Had Orpheus been a native of Ireland," I observed, 
" I should at once have accounted for the odd configura- 
tion of these rocks, by supposing that they had been sud- 
denly petrified while dancing- a jig- to the music of his lyre. 
Look, for instance, at that overhanging granite giant 
above us. One might almost swear he had been transfixed 
while in the act of bowing to his partner over the way. 
But listen, Miss Ellen, your old friend the night-owl is 
beginning his song again." 

" My friend ! No, no, he is too dismal a songster for 
me. Owls are fit only to be listened to by grave philoso- 
phers, or crabbed politicians, or gentlemen who have no 
ear for the melody of Moore's verses. Now, don't look 
so cross j you know it is quite impossible I can mean 

" Cross !" said I, in a whisper : " oh ! Miss Mahon, 
if you knew what was passing in my mind at this 
moment !" 

" Something very dreadful, I make no doubt, if J 
may judge from your terribly wise countenance; so I am 
glad papa has not heard you, for be is but too apt to 
sympathise with the forlorn. Poor man, how I pity you ! 
What can we do for you ?" 

Mr. Mahon just caught these last words, and, mis- 
apprehending their import, said, "What, are you in- 
disposed, O'Blarney?" 


"Oh no," I replied, laughing, "but Miss Mahon has 
been renewing her attack on me for my late unfortunate 
criticism on Moore. I saw you were absorbed in reverie, 
or I should have summoned you to my aid. But we 
loiter ; let us hasten on to the valley, for, see, the sun's 
disk is just dipping behind the hills yonder, and your 
daughter seems anxious to escape from this comfortless 

Thus chatting, we mended our pace, and soon reached 
the extremity of the pass, which brought us out again 
beneath the red, unobstructed light of day. After about 
half an hour's stroll, during which Ellen had diligently 
insisted on my admiring the various beauties of the valley 
from I know not how many points of view, had told me 
every legend connected with it, and lured me on to the 
exact spot where the last assembly of " good people " 
had been seen, and put to flight by a belated peasant ; 
Mi*. Mahon proposed a return home, for the sun was just 
touching the horizon's edge, and a brisk wind springing 
up, hurried before it such heavy masses of clouds as be- 
tokened an inclement night. 

Accordingly, I drew Ellen's arm closer within mine, 
while her father preceded us by a few yards ; and, led on 
by the enchanting frankness and familiarity of her man- 
ner, which had been gradually assuming a more flattering 
character towards me — forgetting, also, in the impulse 
of the moment, all my virtuous resolves — I seized the 
favourable opportunity, at once avowed my love, and — 
but why dwell on the painful topic ? Suffice it to say, 
that the trembling arm of the gentle listener — the half- 
averted face, and low, deprecating voice, struggling to 
conceal what the heart too strongly felt, convinced me 
that I had not pleaded in vain. 

Oh, moment of irrepressible ecstacy ! Am I awake 1 
Is Ellen really mine ? Down — down, thou busy, bewil- 
dering fancy, that lurest me on to hope, even while 
despair is tightening her folds round me. 

No sooner had my declaration escaped me, and Ellen 



murmured some indistinct words of reply, than, as if 
suddenly awakened to the embarrassment of her position, 
she insisted on my joining her father. Accordingly, we 
made the best of our way back towards the pass, where 
Mr. Malion stood waiting for us, when, just as we had 
reached its dark rocky portal, we were startled by the 
sound of footsteps, and at the same instant a female 
figure, of most forbidding aspect, started up right before 
our path. 

I know not why it was, but my spirits sunk as I 
beheld this intruder, who, fixing her eyes full on me, as 
if she would have blasted me with their lightning glance, 
disclosed the countenance of my first wife, Catharine — 
that wife whom I had quarrelled with, and quitted, at 
Naples ! 



From the expression of my wife's countenance, I saw 
at once that I was recognised ; nothing, therefore, I felt 
persuaded, was to be done, but to muke up my mind for 
a scene ; so, summoning my utmost presence of mind, 
I addressed myself to Mr. Mahon: — "I think we had 
better hasten on, the sky looks threatening, and if we stay 
loitering here, we may be caught in a storm." 

"You are right ; but stay, let us hear what this 
stranger has got to say for herself. She appears to eyo 
you steadfastly, and not with the most amiable expres- 

" Oh ! yes, she is a poor maniac," I replied, catching 
at the first wild random idea that crossed my brain, as a 
drowning man catches at a straw, "whom I have met 
occasionally in my walks from Ballinabrogue to Bel'evue, 
and who, because I have relieved her once or twice, and 


thereby established a sort of claim on her attention 
imagines, unhappy creature ! that we are bound togethei 
vinculo matrimonii, as the lawyers call it. Would you 
believe it, sir ! " I added, in the same under-tone, " she 
has actually got a strange whim into her head that I am 
her husband ! Very ridiculous, isn't it ? Nevertheless, 
I should not wonder if she were to occasion me some annoy- 
ance. These mad folks are often exceedingly tenacious 
of what they conceive to be their rights." 

" Nonsense, you are too sensitive ; but let us be going - ." 

But my wife, who had hitherto stood at a slight 
distance, with all her jealous feelings roused into action 
by the sight of Ellen's youthful countenance and figure, 
was resolved I should not escape exposure ; so, planting 
herself right before Mr. Mahon, she exclaimed, " But one 
word, sir — but one word, as you value your own character 
and peace of mind." 

" Poor thing !" said Mr. Mahon, waving her from the 
path, and at the same time preparing to move on. 

" I do not ask your pity, sir," she replied, scornfully, 
" I ask only your justice. Hear me, Mr. Mahon ; not one 
inch will 1 stir from this spot until I have exposed the 
real character of that man who stands beside you." 

" Catharine," said I, letting go Ellen's arm, and ad- 
vancing close up to my wife, " if you have been wronged, 
relv on it I will see you righted," laying all due stress 
on"" I." 

" Righted ! yes, when disgrace and ruin — " 

" Hush ! Catharine, not so loud. Why should we ex- 
pose our domestic differences to strangers ? Forgive but 
the past, and anything— every thing you may demand, 
I will at once agree to. Come, let us be friends. Has 
Juliet so soon forgotten Romeo ? " 

"Friends !" she replied, with a loud voice and flashing 
eye, "yes, when ruin stares you in the face, then from 
very apprehension you will do me justice. But mark me, 
sir! I seek far other justice than you can afford to bestow. 
Mr. Mahon," she added, turning to that gentleman, whose 


suspicions began to be roused by the low tones in which 
this brief colloquy hnd been carried on, "that man whom 
you have so prematurely called your friend, was — nay, 
is still, my husband !" 

Ellen here earnestly besought her father to proceed, 
which drew down on her a cutting reproach from my 
wife ; till, finding' that Mr. Mahon seemed disposed to 
lend a favourable ear to whatever explanation she might 
have to offer, she somewhat softened her tone, and pro- 
ceeded to detail the history of her first acquaintance with 
me — with which the reader is already conversant — of our 
subsequent marriage and departure for the Continent ; of 
the frequent altercations that had taken place between us 
at Naples — in every one of which I, of course, was repre- 
sented as the sole party in fault; of my abandonment 
of her, and her own consequent return to Mollymoreen, 
where she found Mr. O'Brien at the last gasp ; and of the 
solemn vow she had made to apply what sums remained 
to her from the wreck of his fortune in exploring every 
quarter of Ireland, for the purpose of discovering and 
denouncing me. 

Beaiing in mind (she went on to state) the profession 
to which I originally belonged, and thinking it far from 
unlikely that necessity might have compelled me to re- 
sume it, she made a point, at every town she visited, of 
first directing her attention to the theatre. But all her 
inquiries were fruitless; not a single manager, of the 
number to whom she applied, could give her the 
slightest information of my " whereabouts." 

Vexed at her ill luck, she returned to Mollymoreen, 
where she lived for some time secluded, a prey to chagrin; 
when one day, as she was passing by the theatre, she sud- 
denly encountered an individual, whose features, she 
imagined, were not altogether unknown to her. The 
stranger seemed equally surprised at so unexpected a ren- 
counter, and addressing her by the name of Fitzgerald, 
made himself known to her as the actor who had been the 
main instrument in forwarding^ her marriage with me, 


This led to further inquiries, when the fellow — of 
course unacquainted with all the circumstances of our 
suhsequent estrangement — frankly informed her that he 
had seen her husband, but a short time before, in one of 
the boxes of the theatre at Ballinabrogue ! 

The start I gave at this part of my wife's explanation 
was too visible to escape so attentive an observer as Mr. 
Mahon : he, however, took no notice of it, but encouraged 
my wife to continue her narrative, which she did in the 
following terms, breaking out occasionally into such fits of 
rage and jealousy, when she mentioned my name and the 
circumstances of my second marriage, that I thought she 
would be suffocated: — 

" From this moment," said she, " I felt inspired with 
new life; the certainty that I had at length revenge 
within my grasp gave me the first sensation of joy that I 
had known since I quitted Naples ; and, hurrying with- 
out an hour's delay to Ballinabrogue, I laid my whole 
case before a magistrate, by name Kelly, with whom, I 
believe, you have some slight acquaintance — " 

" Kelly ! " said I, unable longer to control my agitation. 

" Yes, Kelly," resumed my wife ; " and at his express 
instigation-r-for though at first incredulous, yet he soon 
became convinced of my sincerity — I took the oppor- 
tunity of this wretch's absence to call a few days since at 
his lodgings, and there make such inquiries as I thought 
might tend to substantiate my case; nay, even to possess 
myself of certain documents, which proved, not only that he 
was my husband, but the husband also of another woman 
in South Wales;" and, as she mentioned the word 
" woman," she darted a glance at me, symptomatic of an 
immediate assault and battery. 

"So, then, you have dared to rob me!" said I, crimson 
with suppressed rage. " Where are those papers? " 

" They are safe, monster ! and you know it ; not one 
has been carried away. I have merely availed myself of 
their contents." 

By this time I could not but see that all was over. 


My wife, it was clear, had perused my journal, which it 
was my usual practice to keep -fast under lock and key, 
but which on that disastrous morning, in my hurry to ac- 
company Mr. Flannaghan to Bellevue, I had indeed left 
open in my desk. 

Catharine watched the changes in my countenance 
with an expression of malignant satisfaction. 

"Mark me, sir," she went on to say, "your hour ia 
come ! What ! you discredit what I say ? 'Tis well ; 
but hear me out. A letter has been despatched to South 
Wales; ay, and an answer returned too, which proves 
your guilt beyond all question. Moreover," she added — 
waving her hand to some figures, who now, for the first 
time, I perceived had been watching all our movements 
in the distance — " here come those who will conduct you 
back to Ballinabrogue, as such a wretch deserves to be 

It was but too true. To the astonishment of Mr. Mahon, 
his daughter's affright, and my extreme disgust, three 
policemen, who must have been purposely concealed in the 
neighbourhood, no sooner saw the concerted signal, tlian, 
before I had time to arrange my thoughts, they rushed up 
and secured me without opposition. What a situation for 
a patriot ! 

My wife had by this time quitted the scene ; so, taking 
advantage of her absence, I resolved to venture on one final 
appeal to Mr. Mahon. But that gentleman was far too 
indignant to hear a word; and, drawing his daughter's 
arm, who was nearly fainting, poor girl, hastily through 
his, left me to the custody of the policemen ; who, on our 
road back to Ballinabrogue, informed me, at my particular 
request, of all the circumstances attending my detection, 
which fully bore out my wife's statements. They further 
acquainted me with what they had heard relative to the 
substance of Mrs. Fitzmaurice's letter; who, it seemed, ex- 
pressed no unwillingness to bear evidence against me, pro- 
vided she could be assured of reimbursement for travelling 
expenses, &c. 


As I listened to this statement, a gleam of hope shot 
athwart my soul. If my wife, thought I, refuse to come 
over, the main link of evidence will be wanting. But, 
alas ! my hopes proved to have been built upon the sand ; 
for, in addition to the charges allowed by government, 
which I was not lawyer enough to take into calculation at 
the moment, Mr. Kelly, on hearing the motives of my 
second wife's reluctance to stir from home, volunteered to 
satisfy her demands, "if only," said he, " to mark my de- 
testation of a fellow who has been the means of dissemi- 
nating such abominable political principles." 



A month had now elapsed since the events detailed 
in the last chapter, during which time scarce a day passed 
but I was busy in consultation with my attorney re- 
specting the mode in which my defence should be con- 
ducted. As this person entered into my case with re- 
markable zeal, in the hope of gaining eclat by my acquittal, 
and had, moreover, engaged the services of the illustrious 
O' Cromwell, who happened to be retained on some im- 
portant tithe question in the Civil Court, I was not with- 
out hopes of a favourite result; " in which case," said I, 
" so far from doing me injury, my trial may actually be 
productive of good ; for my countrymen, who cannot but 
see that political motives have been at the bottom of it— 
for why otherwise should Mr. Kelly have taken such a 
deep personal interest in it! why, otherwise, gone the 
length of insisting on the co-operation, and even arranging 
the plan of it, of both my wives ? — my countrymen, who 
cannot but see through all this, will no doubt bear in 
mind that I am a sufferer in their cause, and recompense me 
for my sufferings by a handsome public subscription." 


The consideration of this idea enabled me to keep up my 
spirits during the protracted term of my imprisonment. 

Meantime the period fixed for the Assizes drew on, 
and the town was filled with visitors flocking- in from all 
parts of the county ; such a carnival is that season con- 
sidered in Ireland as well as England, which dooms the 
unfortunate and the criminal to exile, and perhaps to 

The second day was the one appointed for my trial, 
the particulars of which (as it is far from my desire to 
make any parade of egotism, or excite pity by any highly 
wrought description), I shall take simply as I find them 
reported in the columns of my own journal. Strange that 
the very paper which had so long borne testimony to my 
patriotism, should be the very one to chronicle my 
disgrace ! 


"criminal court.— before lord norvery. — 
important trial for bigamy. 

" Fitzmaurice v. O'Blarney. — This long expected 
trial came on this morning. From an early hour the court 
was crowded to excess; all ranks and ages partook of the 
same curiosity ; and in one corner of the court, close 
behind the jury-box, we ourselves counted not less than 
six individuals, whose united ages amounted to upwards 
of four hundred and fifteen years ! 

" The learned judge took his seat on the bench pre- 
cisely at eleven o'clock, when the prisoner, O'Blarney, was 
ordered to be placed at the bar. The appearance of this 
young man is remarkably prepossessing. He is of middle 
size, and well proportioned, with a face full of intelligence 
and sensibility, and which created an impression in his 
favour, especially among- the female portion of the audi- 
ence. There is nothing- in his look or manner to denote 
the criminal ; indeed, there is an air of bashfulness about 
him, quite different to what we should have expected to 


see in a man charged with the diaholical crime of bigamy. 
He was dressed in deep mourning-, with a small sham- 
rock sprig in his waistcoat button-hole, just above his 
heart — a modest and unassuming trait of patriotism, 
which seemed to produce quite a pathetic effect on Mr. 

" The names of the jury having been called over, and 
each duly sworn, Mr. Sheilly opened the case in the fol- 
lowing energetic speech, which was delivered with such 
extreme rapidity that our reporter has been able to give 
only a brief and hasty sketch of it, which, however, he 
trusts will be found correct in the main: — 

"'May it please your lordship, — Gentlemen of the 
jury, — Never in the discharge of my professional avoca- 
tions did I rise with such painful feelings of embarrassment 
as oppress me on the present awful occasion. The crimes 
I have to expose are so colossal, and the criminal so satanic, 
that my mind shrinks aghast from the overwhelming 
diabolism of the subject. Gentlemen, I have heard that 
no noxious insect can thrive in the consecrated soil of 
Erin. Alas ! the sweltering reptile at the bar proves the 
fact a fiction. With these few remarks, wrung from me 
in the agony of my spirit, I proceed to lay before you the 
particulars of this heart-rending case. The plaintiff is a 
young lady of Mollymoreen, who resided, up to the period 
of her inauspicious nuptials, with a venerable and univer- 
sally adored uncle. The name of this estimable individual 
was O'Brien, and his niece bore the same patronymic. 
She was a lady of the highest accomplishments — the 
most consummate beauty — simple, unsophisticated, and 
twenty-six — slim, susceptible, and a spinster. In an evil 
hour, however, when her guardian genius slumbered at his 
post, it was her fate to descry, through an opera-glass from 
the dress-boxes of the Mollymoreen theatre, the unpa- 
ralleled prisoner at the bar. His person filled her with 
admiration, and he reciprocated the sentiment. But, alas! 
his love was not the inspiration of Cupid, but of Mammon. 
He fixed a fond gaze, not on the plaintiff's person, 


but on her purse. His attachment was not the holy and 
lambent flame which burned of old on the altars of Vesta; 
but an illusory, phosphoretic radiance, like that which 
shoots from out the electric back of grimalkin,when stroked 
backward by the hand of scientific curiosity. The plaintiff's 
guardian, with the wary sagacity of age, soon fathomed 
the nature of the defendant's attachment. But his dis- 
covery was made too late. The land was ploughed — the 
seed was soon — and ready at the first opportune season 
to produce a copious crop of tribulation. Finding this to 
be the case, Mr. O'Brien had no other alternative left, 
than to sob forth a reluctant consent to the nuptials. 
Disastrous concession ! Frightful alternative ! Within 
one brief year from their consummation my unfortunate 
client was bedded, beggared, and betrayed ! I can image 
her distraction when the tidings of her husband's flight 
first reached her; when, in reply to her agonizing inter- 
rogatory, "Where's your master?" the horror-struck 
footman, in the familiar, but expressive language of his 
tribe, stammered forth, " Master's bolted ! " ' 

" [The learned gentleman was here interrupted by 
violent screams, which were found to proceed from an 
elderly lady, who, overpowered by her emotions, had 
fallen into the kicking hysterics, in which state she was 
carried out of court.] 

"' Gentlemen,' continued Mr. Sheilly, 'I perceive my 
appeal has struck home. I shall therefore proceed, with- 
out further comment, to the details of the prisoner's second 
marriage. This took place at Llandwarrys, in South 
Wales. The unoffending victim, for whose afflictions even 
the crags of Snowdon might shed tears, and the peaks of 
Cader-Idris veil their sympathetic summits, was a lovely, 
intelligent widow, universally respected by all who had 
the honour of her acquaintance. Five-and-forty times 
had Phoebus made his annual circuit of the globe, since 
this Cambrian floweret was ushered into being. Oh, that 
the sirocco of sorrow should have spared the infant bud, 
only to blight the full-blown blossom ! Gentlemen, of 


the prisoner's two victims, I scarce know which most de- 
serves your commiseration. The one was the green and 
sportive spring ; the other, the mellow and voluptuous 
autumn. But the defendant gave the preference to 
neither. He was the personification of perfidious impar- 
tiality ; and, like the raging Boreas, Wasted with equal 
alacrity the opening buds of spring and the ripe efflo- 
rescence of autumn. 

" ' Gentlemen of the jury, you are fathers — you are 
husbands — you are men — you are Christians — above all, 
you are Irishmen — and, by these sacred tides, I implore 
you to mark your sense of the prisoner's attrocity by a 
verdict which shall brand him, like Cain, with the stamp 
of imperishable infamy. Erin blushes for his birth — 
earth travails at his presence — heaven cries aloud for his 
condemnation ! He is a monster of moral deformity, 
compared to whom, Cacus was a Cupid, Sycorax a Sylph, 
and Caliban an Adonis.' 

" The learned gentleman sat down amid the most 
vociferous acclamations from all parts of the court, which 
were so long continued as to awaken the venerable judge, 
who, rubbing his eyes, and looking angrily about him, in 
the direction of the jury-box, exclaimed, ' Officer of the 
court, wake the foreman of the jury!' after which the 
certificates of both marriages were put in, and Mr. Sheilly 
proceeded to call witnesses in corroboration of his state- 
ment, who were subjected to a rigid cross-examination 
by Mr. O'Cromwell j but nothing occurred to invalidate 
their testimony. 

" When the case for the prosecution had closed, Mr. 
O'Cromwell rose for the defence. The following is as 
correct a report as we could give of the learned gentle 
man's speech, considering- that he was inaudible at times, 
owing to the great confusion that prevailed throughout 
the court : — 

" ' May it please your lordship, — Gentlemen of the 
jury,. — I am well aware that to a certain extent judgment 
must pass against my client. I mean not to deny the 



Tact of his first, nor yet of his second, marriage ; but this 
£ will maintain, that notwithstanding the eloquent vitu- 
peration of my learned friend, the evidence you have this 
day heard proves that defendant has been far " more 
sinned against than sinning." In considering your verdict, 
gentlemen, I trust you will take this fact into your con- 
sideration. Besides, do not let it escape your attention, 
that this prosecution has at least as much to do with 
politics as justice. The Protestant magistrate Kelly, who 
takes such extraordinary pains to promote it, does so for 
the sole reason that the defendant is a Catholic and a 
Radical. But this is nothing new here, for Irish justice 
is notoriously of the Orange faction. Oh, my beloved 
countrymen, when shall we be free from this galling 
Ascendancy chain ? Where is there a lovelier climate ? 
Where a finer peasantry ? Oh, it galls me to the quick, 
to tbink that where God has been so bountiful, man has 
been so base ! We were designed to be a nation — we are 
a province. We were designed to be happy — we are 
miserable. But we have one consolation — we are seven 

"Mr. Sheilly. — 'I beg my learned friend's pardon. 
We were seven millions a month ago. We are eight 

"Lord Norvery. — ' Mr. O'Cromwell, you aie travelling 
wholly from the record.' 

"Mr. O'Cromwell. — 'My lord, justice to my client 
compels me to show that this prosecution is for the most 
part of a political — ' 

"Lord Norvery. — 'Sir, we know nothing of politics 

" Mr. O'Cromwell. — ' I should have thought otherwise, 
from your lordship's extreme hurry to — ' 

"Lord Norvery (in a loud voice). — 'Sir, I will have 
respect paid to the Bench. I insist on it.' 

" Mr. O'Cromwell. — ' Really, my lord, this interruption 
is most — ' 

" Lord Norvery. — ' Oh, very well, sir j I understand 


your meaning*. If you fancy yourself aggrieved, you know 
how to apply for your remedy. ' 

" Mr. O'Cromwell (solemnly). — ' My lord, I have a vow 
— a sacred vow!' 

" Lord Norvery. — ' Enough, sir. Go on.' 

" Mr. O'Cromwell. — ' Gentlemen, my client's case is 
only another proof of the necessity that exists for cleansing 
the fountain-heads of justice in this most afflicted country.' 

" His lordship here again interrupted Mr. O'Cromwell, 
and the two parties continued addressing each other with 
inflamed gestures, at the very top of their voices, for fully 
ten minutes, while the court roared with laughter. At 
length, after a vehement altercation, Mr. O'CromwelPs 
superior wind prevailed, and he proceeded as follows :— 

" ' Gentlemen, I repeat my former statement, this pro- 
secution is almost wholly political. But thus has it ever 
been — thus will it ever be, until Irishmen have learned 
to know and vindicate their rights. 

' Hereditary bondsmen! know you not, 
Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow?' 

Yes, we are indeed a nation of bondsmen, and England is 
our task-master. We are hewers of wood and drawers of 
water, and the Saxon is our overseer. Yet nature de- 
signed us for freedom. (A. sort of running duet here took 
place between Mr. O'Cromwell and his lordship.) Our 
every hill is a fortress — ' 

"Lord Norvery. — 'Mr. O'Cromwell, this is no Corn 
Exchange meeting.' 

" Mr. O'Cromwell. — ' Our every road a defile—' 
" Lord Norvery. — ' Sir, I insist — ' 
"Mr. O'Cromwell. — 'Our every field a redoubt — ' 
"Lord Norvery. — 'This conduct is really — ' 
"Mr. O'Cromwell. — 'Up, then, countrymen, and be 
stirring ! ( Here his lordship sank back exhausted with 
his vehemence.) Up with your weapons; but let them be 
those of constitutional agitation ! Strike ; but let it be in 
theory ! Fight ; but let it be in a contest of obedience to 


the laws — to those laws which, were they but once 
thoroughly reformed, would make Ireland again, what 
she once was, 

" Great, glorious, and free, 
First flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea ! " 

" When the learned gentleman had concluded, the ven- 
erable judge commenced summing up the evidence ; 
after which, the jury returned a verdict of ' guilty : ' 
whereupon his lordship sentenced the prisoner to trans- 
portation for life. 

" The trial excited the most intense interest throughout; 
indeed, the oldest inhabitant in B alibi ab rogue never re- 
members any thing equal to it." 



My narrative now draws 'to a close. After my trial I 
was conveyed back to prison, no longer buoyed up with 
that hope which had sustained my spirits, even up to the 
moment when the jury delivered in their verdict. All 
prospect of ever regaining character was lost; for the 
sentence of the court had placed a bar between me and 
society for ever. The Mahons had blotted me out of their 
recollection, and even Mr. Flannaghan had abandoned 
me to my fate. Both these were liberal, high-minded, 
intelligent Irishmen, yet both abandoned the poor patriot 
to his fate without a sigh ! The very peasantry, of whom 
I had so lately been the idol, treated me with equal indif- 
ference. A slight sensation, indeed, was occasioned by 
my sentence; threats were made use of, and a hint thrown 
out of a rescue: but in a few days all this show of spirit 
evaporated ; the peasantry returned to their usual duties, 
the town to its usual tranquillity ; and the poor imprisoned 


patriot was as completely forgotten as if he had never 
existed. Such is mob popularity ! 

I mean not to deny that I was guilty ; still, when I 
came seriously to reflect on my situation, I could not but 
feel that I was in a considerable degree a martyr to my 
principles. Hundreds had committed the same offence, 
but not being politically obnoxious, they had incurred only 
half the penalty. In one respect, therefore, my sentence 
was a compliment to the sense entertained of my public 
influence ; but this was a poor consolation. 

On the evening of the second day after my trial, as I 
was seated in my cell, companioned only by my cheerless 
thoughts, a letter was delivered to me by the turnkey. 
On looking closely at the superscription, I saw that it was 
in the handwriting of my first wife ; and concluding, after 
what had taken place between us, that it might be of a 
forgiving, if not a penitential character, I hastily broke it 
open; but judge of my astonishment when I found that 
it consisted of only this one sentence ! — 

" You once called me old ; you were right, I am old — far 
too old ever to hope to live long enough to welcome 
your return from transportation ! 

" Catharine." 

"Insulting cockatrice !" said I, tearing* the letter into a 
thousand fragments ; " what an index to character is here ! 
If this be not revenge in its subtlest, most malignant, and 
most feminine form, I know not the meaning of the term. 
Oh woman, woman ! what a mystery is that heart of thine ! 
I thought I knew you. Alas, I might just as well have 
flattered myself that I had fathomed the mysteries of 
eternity. You were born to be our curse. One was 
enough to set all Troy in flames ; can I wonder, then, that 
two have been my ruin ? Yet, gracious God ! who could 
have believed it possible that a sneer, thrown out in a 
hasty, thoughtless moment, should be so long remembered, 
and lead to such disastrous residts? It is plain now, that 
wounded vanity, not blighted affection, has been at the 


bottom of my wife's recent conduct towards me. She never 
loved me, or she would not, when I so solemnly promised 
to make her every reparation in my power, have offered 
me up a sacrifice to an ill-timed truth. Well, never again 
will 1 venture to call a woman old. Henceforth she shall 
bloom an evergreen in my speech." 

Scarcely had I recovered from the astonishment into 
which the perusal of this vindictive communication had 
thrown me, when the door of my cell was again unlocked, 
and the turnkey entered, with the information that a lady 
was waiting without, who expressed a wish to be admitted 
into my presence. " Lady !" said I, peevishly ; " I will 
see no lady. I have had enough of ladies to last me my 
lifetime. I am a martyr of a too generous admiration of 
the sex. But stay," I added after a moment's pause ; 
I can guess who is the applicant, so show her in ; she 
cannot possibly treat me worse than her predecessor." 

The man accordingly quitted the room, and in a few 
minutes returned, leading in my second wife, Mrs. Fitz- 
maurice, who was closely muffled up, as if labouring under 
the embarrassing consciousness of an alias. I rose to 
greet her; but as I did so, there was something in the 
repulsive coldness of her manner that induced me to stop 
short and say, " You have come, madam, I see, to exult 
over the unfortunate." 

" Unfortunate ! Oh, Mr. Fitz— 0' Blarney, is that the 
sort of language to be applied to you? lam the unfor- 
tunate. How could you have the heart to use me so ? 
Such a wife as I always was to you ! I am sure I thought 
I should have dropped when I found that you had run 
away and left me with a horrid Irish name that does not 
belong to either of us." 

" If you felt so much for me as you say, why did you 
appear against me ?" 

" Because my brother and all Llandwarrys insisted on 
it. I was told that it was the only way I could clear my 
character in the eyes of the world. Even the squire 
himself — " 


" What, did Mr. Gryffyths take part in the conspiracy 1" 
" Yes ; he told us that though he saw through you from 
the first, he was determined to say nothing till the proper time 
arrived. The attorney, too, kept constantly telling me that 
if I did not come over, the law would compel me to do so ; 
then there was Mr. Rupee, he sent expressly for my 
brother, to say that he was convinced that you would be his 
death, for he had never had a day's health since he called 
you in, and that, therefore, it was a duty we owed 
society to prosecute you. In fact the whole town cried shame 
on you, with the exception of the undertaker, who always 
stood your friend. But I think I can partly guess the 
reason of that." 

" Pray come to the point, and tell me the object of this 

" Well, then," rejoined my wife, drawing a small Bible 
from her pocket, and placing it in my hands, " though I 
know you think I have come to upbraid you — and, indeed, 
it is natural you should think so — yet, believe me, I came 
here with the kindest intentions, — merely to present you 
with this volume, in the hope that it may be the means of 
bringing you to a proper sense of your condition. I would 
have written my own name in it, as a proof that I forgive 
you ; but, alas ! — for shame, for shame, sir j I wonder you 
can laugh at such things !" 

"' Do not grudge me one poor smile ; it is the last I shall 
ever know." 

" Yes, and you have taken good care that I shall never 
smile again. But I saw from the first how matters would 
end. You will do me the justice to remember that I 
always prophesied your ruin. Oh dear ! oh, dear ! what 
a sad business is this ! To think that a woman at my 
time of life should be so situated as scarcely even to know 
her own name ! Was the like ever heard of ?" In this 
lachrymose strain, Mrs. Fitzmaurice continued for the best 
part of half an hour, when our conference was terminated 
by the ringing of the prison-bell, which was the signal for 
the departure of all visitors, and the locking-up of the 



jail. Almost instantly afterwards the turnkey entered, 
and told my wife that her time was expired, and she must 
quit the prison. 

This abrupt announcement had a strange effect on the 
poor lady's feeling's. She moved towards me for the pur- 
pose of bidding" me farewell ; but as she did so I could see 
her hand shake, and her countenance visibly alter. For 
a minute or two she struggled to conceal her feelings ; but 
the effort was beyond her power: and just as I had seized 
her hand, and was faltering forth a " God bless you," I 
saw tears — real tears — rolling down her cheeks. A sight 
like this, so wholly unexpected, quite unmanned me. I 
tried to speak, but could not; so there I stood, rooted to 
the floor, with my wife's cold hand fast locked in mine. 

" Come, come," said the turnkey, " this will never do. 
I am sorry for the poor gentlewoman, but she must turn 
out. It's as good as my place is worth, to let her remain 
here after lock-up hours." 

"Good-by, then," said my wife, "God bless you, I 
forgive you from the very bottom of my heart;" and so 
saying, she hurried towards the door; but just as she 
reached it, stopped, turned once more round, then tore 
herself away, and the door closed on her for ever. 

It was on a charming- summer morning, in the year 
1822, that the most aggrieved patriot that ever quitted the 
Irish shores stepped on board the vessel that was to waft 
him to a new world. Who shall say what emotions were 
mine at this trying moment ! Yet it was not for myself 
I grieved. No, it was the ingratitude of the land of my 
nativity that pierced my soul with anguish. "Oh, 
Erin!" I exclaimed, " ungenerous Erin ! Like Aristides, 
I have sacrificed my all in your behalf; and, like him, I 
am rewarded with banishment. Though, conjointly with 
abler but not more disinterested spirits, I taught you the 
secret of your strength ; lit up the beacon-fires of free- 
dom in your farm-houses ; and roused you from the state 
of base, contented tranquillity in which I found you but 
too willing to indulge. How have you repaid me ? By 


thrusting me from your presence with contempt and 
obloquy ! Had I acquired titles, or heaped up riches, 
you might justly have distrusted my zeal; but I have 
neither pension nor peerage ; nay, I quit your service 
poorer than when I entered on it. Such was ever the 
patriot's lot. Belisaiius begged his bread, and I am 
driven forth to herd with the kangaroos of Australia! 
Oh, that I had never been born, or, being born, that my 
face, like the statue of Achilles, had been cased in triple 
brass ! But bashfulness first sowed the seeds of that 
ruin, of which patriotism has since reaped the harvest. 
What but the one withheld me from returning a penitent 
to Naples, and kept me in a state of vacillation when, by 
a prompt decision, I might have secured the hand of 
Ellen Mahon, and in some remote corner of Ireland have 
lived to this hour in respectability ? What, but the 
other, made me court notoriety, whereby I hurried on my 
own downfall 1 But complaint is idle now. Henceforth 
all hope is dead within me. Ye whom I may perchance 
have wronged, be content; ye have now an ample revenge. 
Ye who have unquestionably wronged me, be content 
also ; from my inmost soul I forgive you." 

Just as I concluded this touching soliloquy, I cast my 
eyes toward the shores of my native land. The last faint 
glimpse of its iron-hound coast was still discernible in the 
distance ; an instant, and it had disappeared, and I felt 
that I had seen green Erin for the last time. 

Gentle Reader, 

The tale of the "Bashful Irishman" is concluded; 
and the autobiographer himself, his task accomplished, 
vanishes, like other phantoms, into thin air. The nar- 
rative was intended to be a sort of ironical commentary 
on the old adage, "Know Thyself" — the most difficult to 
be acquired of all knowledge j for how often do we find, 


in real life, men like O'Blarney, piquing themselves on 
the possession of that one faculty or acquirement in 
which they are the most deficient, — some coarse, business- 
like John Bull, for instance, on his refined and lofty 
gentility ; or some chattering- monsieur, on his philosophic 
depth of thought. In the selection of his hero, the 
author, some of whose oldest and most respected friends 
are Irishmen, has studiously confined himself to that class 
of low, impudent adventurers who are to be met with in 
all countries, as Mateo Aleman has done in his " Spanish 
Adventurer," and our own immortal Fielding in hi? 
English one. Perhaps, also, gentle reader, the author 
may have had another object in view — your amusement ; 
but here, though he would fain hope the best, he dare 
hardly flatter himself that he has succeeded. No critic 
can be more sensible of the deficiencies of the tale than 
himself; nevertheless, he has done his best; and, having 
penned it throughout (or at least endeavoured so to do) in 
a spirit of cordial and unaffected good humour, he trusts 
that you will take these mitigating circumstances into 
consideration, and, adopting Portia's advice to Shylock, 
temper justice with mercy in your verdict. 




The groundwork of this tale is founded on fact, though the 
circumstances of the journey are in some degree fictitious. Of 
the three parties interested, one only survives. A slight sketch 
of the narrative has already been given in print. ItTis here 
materially enlarged. 

It was at the commencement of the summer of the 
year 1819, that I quitted Cambridge for the Continent. 
For some months previous I had been in what is called an 
ailing- state, the result of incessant application to my 
literary pursuits at the University ; on perceiving' which, 
my father insisted that I should throw aside my hooks 
and accompany him home to Gwynnevay, in the hope 
that the mild air of my native "Welsh valley might work 
a healing effect on my constitution; hut finding that the 
change was of no avail, as I still persevered in my old 
system of study and seclusion, he called in a physician 
from Caermarthen, by whose express injunctions I was 
interdicted from all but light reading, until my health 
should be sufficiently re-established to enable me to 
resume my favourite pursuits with safety ; and finally I 
was despatched to pass the long vacation in Italy. 

It was a sad day for me when the carriage that was to 
convey me to London, on my road to the Continent, drove 
away from the old monastic halls of Gwynnevay. Though 
I had everything that could render a residence abroad 


desirable — ample pecuniary resources (for I was my 
father's only son, and,, I believe I may add, his favourite 
child), and letters of introduction to some of the most 
distinguished families in Home — still I felt a sense of 
discomfort and dissatisfaction at the idea of quitting 
home, which can only be appreciated by those who, like 
myself, have been torn suddenly, and, as they fancy at 
the time, wantonly, from those pursuits from which alone 
they derive the slightest gratification. 

At this period — I was then just entering' on my 
twentieth year — literature was with me, not a mere 
pastime, but a continuous, all-absorbing passion. I 
breathed but the air of books. My mind fed but on the 
past. As for the world, I knew as much, and cared as 
much about it as an infant, my society being* for the most 
part restricted to those who cultivated the same tastes. 

My father, a disciplined man of the world, who, from 
the concurring circumstances of birth, fortune, and con- 
nection, was entitled to move in a highly respectable 
sphere, made many attempts to polish off what he termed 
" the rough edges " of my character, by compelling me 
to mix with him in the gay circles of the metropolis ; my 
sisters, too, were perpetually endeavouring to laugh me 
out of my " old-fashioned bookish notions ;" but their 
efforts were fruitless ; I felt that I was out of place in 
modern society, being- wholly made up of odd crotchets, 
and that high-toned but visionary sort of feeling- which is 
one of the inevitable results of a studious solitude. 

Mr. Wordsworth has well observed — 

" Books are a substantial world, 
Round which, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood, 
Our pastime and our happiness may grow." 

This truth was never more fully realised than in my 
case ; and it was with a listlessness amounting almost to 
apathy, that I took leave of this " substantial world," to 
enter upon another which had nothing but its bustle and 
novelty to recommend it. 


In such a frame of mind I reached Rome. My father 
had previously made me promise to avail myself of all my 
letters of introduction, foreseeing - that otherwise I should 
fall back on my old habits; but I was in no great hurry 
to redeem my pledge, contenting' myself, instead, with 
solitary visits to those spct3 over which the historians, 
and post \ and orators of old Rome, have thrown an un- 
fading halo. I sought the Tusculum, and thought of 
Cicero; I fixed my eyes on the summit of the distant 
Soracte, and Horace's social ode flashed on my recollec- 
tion ; T bent my steps towards the Aventine, and my ear 
caught the sound, and my eye the spectacle, of the 
triumphal rejoicings of the Republic. 

So passed a month, at the expiration of which time let- 
ters arrived from Gwynnevay, in reply to one I had sent 
announcing my arrival at Rome. My father particularly 
requested me to inform him whether I had made myself 
known to the friends about whom he had spoken to me ; 
for it was to the diversion afforded by society that he 
looked chiefly for my recovery. 

The receipt of this letter reminded me of duties that I 
had too long neglected towards the fondest and most mu- 
nificent of parents; and I determined on the following 
day punctually to obey his directions, — a resolution which 
was not a little assisted by the circumstance I am now 
about to relate, and which had the effect of materially in- 
fluencing all my after fortunes. 

I had gone to pay a visit one evening to the Palatine, 
and was standing among its crumbling masses of brick- 
work, in that fixed, thoughtful mood which such a scene 
is so calculated to inspire, when the sound of voices di- 
verted my attention ; and looking in the direction of the 
Circus Maximus, I saw a party, consisting of two ladies 
and a gentleman, advancing from that quarter to the spot 
where I stood. 

As they came slowly on, pausing every now and then to 
look about them, I had ample leisure to observe them. 
Two were of middle age; but the third was a lady, who, 


judging from appearances, I should say had scarcely com- 
pleted her eighteenth year. I never saw so lovely a 
creature. There are some faces which, once heheld, 
though but for a moment, take ever after an imperishable 
hold on the memory. Such was hers. Her large black 
eyes were full of deep and earnest expression; her mouth 
was small and exquisitely shaped; her rosy lips, on 
which a thousand meanings seemed to vibrate, indicated 
extreme sensibility ; her complexion was pale, but clear ; 
the contour of her countenance of a Grecian, rather than a 
Roman, character ; and her slender figure, replete with 
that natural, easy grace which we associate with a Juliet 
or a Miranda. Just such a vision, so youthful — so ethereal 
— so full of all that we admire and dote upon in woman — 
burst on the sight of the Indian Bacchus among the woods 
of Crete. 

But it was not so much the beauty of the stranger that 
riveted my attention, as the profound melancholy that 
characterised her every look and movement. There was 
no mistaking the expression that spoke in her eloquent 
eye, and quivered on her restless lip. So young — so at- 
tractive — what could render her thus wretched ? Could 
it be the influence breathed out, like a mildew, from the 
ruins that surrounded her 1 Possibly ; for there is in- 
deed a sad solemnity — a majestic desolation in their 
aspect ; and we behold them with something of the same 
sympathy with which we should behold a noble mind in 

The party had by this time reached the place where I 
was standing - , and, as they passed, the young girl just 
turned a glance towards me ; but, hasty as was that 
glance, it was quite enough to overturn all my speculations. 
'Twas not the melancholy akin to pleasure, that is called 
forth in refined minds by contemplating the solemn ruins 
of the past, that threw its touching shadow over her 
countenance; but a deep, silent, corroding anguish, that 
was gnawing at the very roots of life. Oh, how I longed 
to address her ! But could I even have nrustered courage 


enough to break through that conventional etiquette which 
perpetually, in spite of himself, clings about an English- 
man, the opportunity would have been wanting ; for in an 
instant, before I could call home my wandering thoughts, 
the strangers had disappeared, and left me once again to 
solitude, in the cold gray evening, among the ruins of the 

The whole of that night — that memorable night — I 
could think — dream — speculate on nothing but the fair 
Unknown, and the cause of the melancholy that threw — 
not a cloud, but — a dim, softening veil over her brilliant 
loveliness. No doubt, the romantic circumstances under 
which I had encountered her had much to do with the 
matter; for my age — my inexperience — and more espe- 
cially my course of study, rendered me peculiarly sensitive 
to such an influence ; still, independently of these adven- 
titious helps to the imagination, there was quite enough 
in the face — the figure — the air of the stranger, to justify 
the enthusiasm of a far more worldly man than I am, or 
shall ever be. 

My favourite metaphysician has accounted for a sudden 
infatuation like this, by attributing it to the realising 1 ot 
some image of female loveliness, of which all men, 
unconsciously to themselves, have entertained a previous 
conception. Such was not my case. I had formed no 
previous theory of beauty. If I had ever thought of 
woman at all, it was only in connection with a waltz, a 
hall-room, and a knot of lisping dandies; the present, 
therefore, was, in every respect, the dawn of a new 
existence within me ; whose first immediate effect was, to 
render me as active, impassioned, and full of hope, as before 
I was listless and reserved. 

Under the influence of these new feelings, I haunted 
day and night the majestic ruins of the Palatine. I saw 
them under every varying aspect of light and shade — of 
sunshine and moonshine ; sometimes I was there alone ; 
sometimes I stood among them in the presence of beauty; 
hut she, the most beautiful of her sex, came there no more. 


Still I would not despond. First love, though timid, 
is skilful, and fertile in expedients, with ever a redeeming 
spirit about it ; so, finding that my excursions to 
the Palatine were fruitless, I extended them to all the 
grand and classic scenery in which the neighbourhood of 
Rome abounds, — to the heights of Frescati — the pictur- 
esqtie Alban Hill — the groves, the grottoes, the cascades, 
and temples of Tivoli, — to every spot, in short, which I 
thought was likely to attract the attention of youth and 
beauty; and then, as a last resource, resolved on availing 
myself of my letters of introduction, in the hope that in 
society at least, if not among the clief-d' ceuvres of art and 
nature, I might stand a chance of meeting with the 

Fraught with this idea, I permitted not a moment to 
elapse, but made my appearance at the house of the 
Countess C , to whom my father had specially recom- 
mended me; and whose hobby it was to collect once a 
week, in her saloon, all the literature, and philosophy, and 
science, and even fashion of the capital. 

By this lady, who was in high repute with the English 
at Rome, I was received with a world of urbanity, and 
introduced into several delightful circles ; but, wherever I 
went, the same disappointment awaited me ; I could see 
— hear nothing of the Unknown. 

At length, one day when I was sauntering along the 

Corso with the Baron de G , whom I had previously 

met at the countess's conversazione, and who was well 
known in Rome for his classic taste and erudition, and — 
what was with me of far more consequence just now — 
for the extent and variety of his acquaintance, a carnage 
halted close to the spot where we were walking; for the 
street being thronged with equipages, like Hyde Park on 
a spring Sunday, it became a matter of difficulty for any 
vehicle to proceed beyond a snail's pace. 

At once, as if by instinct, my eyes were riveted on this 
carriage, in which were seated two females ; in the younger 
of whom I recognised — oh, moment of triumph, that even 


now, at the distance of eighteen years, I recall with 
transport ! — my fair Unknown of the Palatine ! She, too, 
seemed as if she rememhered me ; for, as the coach drove 
on, she threw on me a furtive glance, of recognition, (or 
did my vanity deceive me ?) stamped, however, with all 
her former melancholy. 

I cannot say what my feelings were at this instant ; 
excited, however, as they were, I yet managed to repress 
them; and, with assumed tranquillity, inquired of the baron 
if he knew who those ladies were in the carriage that had 
just passed us. 

" Tn the dark-green one, you mean 1 Oh, they are the 
wife and sister of the French minister. Pleasant women 
enough, but too loquacious." 

" No, no; in the carriage immediately preceding them. 
See, it is just now turning the corner." 

" What, you are interested in them ? " he replied archly, 
struck with the involuntary eagerness of my manner. 

" Not so. But I think I have met with them before — 
the youngest, at least — and have the curiosity natural to 
all of us to know the name of, if not to become acquainted 
with, a pretty woman. Who are they — or rather, who is 
she ? " and I felt my heart leap within me as I put this 
direct inquiry. 

The reply was all that the most sanguine enthusiast 
could desire; for not only did the baron make me acquainted 
with the names of the strangers, but, finding that I took 
an interest in his communication, proceeded also to acquaint 
me with the details of their history. 

They were, it seems, mother and daughter, and of the 

distinguished family of Di V . The younger, whose 

name was Hortense, had been affianced from an early age 
to a young Italian eleve of Napoleon, who held a high 
military command in the capital. The match received the 
full sanction of the mother — a widow, with this only 
child — but, unfortunately, before it could take place, one of 
those sudden political changes which were of such frequent 
occurrence among the emperor's adherents when he him- 

2G8 T11E MAGIC 015' LOVE. 

self Lad been hurled from power — and which, in this 
instance, was supposed to have been hastened by the 
intrigues of the Austrian nuncio, to whom the young 
soldier had contrived to render himself obnoxious — not 
only deprived him of his military situation, but was the 
cause also of Lis banishment from the papal territories ; 
and this but a month before he was to have espoused 
Hortense diV . 

When the news of her intended son-in-law's disgrace 

reached the ears of Madame di V a stern, cold, 

haughty woman, whose one engrossing passion was am- 
bition — she insisted on her daughter's breaking' off all 
communication with the young soldier ; and though the 
poor girl implored her on bended knees to recall this harsh 
mandate, her mother was deaf to her appeal, and kept her 
under a state of the most rigid surveillance, until assured that 
her affianced husband had taken his departure from Rome. 

For full six months Hortense had remained in this 
state of " durance vile ;" but latterly her mother had been 
induced to relax a little in her vigilance, finding that her 
child's health was slowly wasting away under the cruel 
shock ; and allow her occasionally to make her appearance 
at the soirees of some of their friends, and, among others, at 

that of the Countess C ; in the hope, no doubt, as my 

informant added, that her daughter, by her beauty, her 
accomplishments, and the rank of her family, might form 
such an alliance as might do credit to her mother's ambition. 

There was nothing in this communication that, strictly 
speaking, should cause me any despondency ; for what 
was I to Hortense? nevertheless, it produced an extraor- 
dinary effect on my mind ; and when I quitted the baron 
to return Lome, the tumult of my feelings was such as it 
is far more easy to ridicule than remedy. I had been 
flung with a rude stunning shock to earth, from the seventh 
heaven of imagination. Hope's silver chord was loosed; 
her golden bowl was broken ; and the glittering fragments 
lay shattered at my feet. In vain I called common sense 
to my aid • in vain I turned to study for consolation ; in 


vain I resumed acquaintance with my favourite classic 
and Italian poets. My feelings rejected all attempts at 
discipline ; my thoughts were perpetually wandering to 
the Palatine, and brooding over the vision that had there 
first taught me I had a fancy to be fired and a heart to be 

This was a wretched state of mind to be in — amount- 
ing-, in fact, to a species of monomania. I determined, 
therefore^ to make one resolute effort to shake it off; and 
the baron happening* to look in on me one morning with 
an invitation to a soiree at the countess's, where he told 
me I should be sure to meet " all the world," I gladly 
embraced the opportunity, if not of restoring my mind to 
a healthy tone, at least of reducing it to something like 

But, alas ! in my eagerness to fly from self, I found 
that I was only rushing from Scylla uopn Charybdis ; for, 
on entering the saloon, among the earliest visitors, whom 
should I see, seated on a sofa in an obscure quiet corner, 
but — Hortense herself! Yes, there she was — lovely, 
interesting, irresistible as ever ! Next her was a middle- 
aged lady, in whom, from the strong resemblance she bore 
to her daughter, I was at no loss to recognise Madame di 

V . Both had the same full dark eye, the same hair 

the same exquisitely chiselled outline of countenance ; but 
the hauteur and stately dignity of the one were tempered 
into softness and sweetness in the other. The one seemed 
born to command ; the other, to love and be loved. 

Of course, as the most distingue females in the room, 
they soon gathered about them a crowd of those lively 
coxcombs who, in Rome as with us, are always to be seen 
humming- and buzzing about the ear of beauty. One in 
particular, a handsome but intolerably conceited fop, paid 
Hortense the most marked attention ; from which, how- 
ever, she shrunk with an eagerness that not a little dis- 
pleased her mother, and convinced me that the coxcomb 
in question was considered of sufficient rank and fortune to 
be encouraged as a son-in-law. 


It was with mixed feelings of pleasure and jealousy 
that I watched at a distance this little scene ; hut when 

I saw Madame di V rise from her seat, for the purpose 

of addressing- the lady of an English attache, drawing after 
her a crowd of beaux, who felt their self-conceit wounded 
by her daughter's unaccountable reserve, a strange courage 
came over me ; and hastening toward her, at the same 
time mentioning the name of our mutual friend the baron, 
I introduced and placed myself by her side. By her 
side! What a world of bliss is contained in these few 
words ! 

How I looked — what I said — I cannot at this distance 
of time pretend to recall ; my manner, however, must 
have convinced Hortense of the deep — the intense interest 
I took in the circumstances of her story, for she repaid 
me with gentle words and grateful looks ; in fact, I so far 
contrived to interest her feelings, by talking with her in 
an earnest and impassioned style, which suited the temper 
of her mind, about the various scenes I had visited in the 
capital, and the associations they called up — not forgetting-, 
be sure, the Palatine, where I had first seen her — that 
her usual reserve gave way, and something- like an anima- 
ted conversation took place, in French, between us ; but 
when I happened accidentally to mention that I should 
quit Rome for Naples in a few days, she gave an involun- 
tary start, her countenance assumed an expression of the 
utmost eagerness, and, after looking timidly and anxiously 
about the room, she said, in a low voice, with a forced 
effort at composui-e, " We go to-morrow to Cardinal 

F 's. You know him, I believe ?" 

" Yes ; I was introduced to him a few days since." 
"Possibly, then, we shall see you there ?" 
I had only just time to reply in the affirmative, when 
Hortense abruptly changed the conversation; and with 

good reason, — for, on looking up, I saw Madame di V 

returning, on which I quitted her side, and mixing with 
the gay throng which now fdled the room, was soon lost 
to the eyes of both. 


On returning to my hotel, I occupied myself for some 
tours in thinking over all the circumstances of my con- 
versation with Hortense. Her hint about the cardinal's 
soiree, which I could not hut remember had been put in 
the earnest and pleading- tone of a request that I would 
be there, especially engaged my attention. " What could 
be her motive," said I, "in asking" me such a question, 
and in such an anxious manner ? Was it merely that she 
was pleased with my conversation, — nattered by my re- 
spect and evident sympathy ? or was it a deeper feeling ? 
But no, no; 'tis sheer madness to cherish such a hope! 
However, be the cause what it may, at least by to-morrow 
night I shall know enough to regulate my future conduct." 

On my arrival next night at the cardinal's I looked in 

vain for Madame di V and her daughter ; they were 

not there ; and after waiting - some time, I was sullenly 
preparing to move away, when the baron stopped me at 
the door, and engaged me in conversation for a few mi- 
nutes — most fortunately, for while I was talking with him, 
Hortense and her mother entered, accompanied by the 
same young fop who had so excited my aversion the pre- 
vious evening. 

As the party drew near us, Madame di V halted an 

instant to speak to the baron; and just at that instant 
Hortense, catching my eye, thrust a letter into my hand ; 
which she had scarcely done, when her mother hurried her 
forward. All this occurred in less time than I have taken 
to describe it ; and my curiosity, and perhaps a more nat- 
tering feeling, being excited beyond all restraint — the 
more especially when, from a distant quarter of the room, 
I saw Hortense's eyes turned frequently towards me — I 
hurried home, unfolded the precious document, and read 
the following lines : — 

" You told me last night you were on the eve of quitting 
Rome for Naples; you saw, too, that the intelligence 
affected me; but you knew not — you could not know — the 
deep cause I had for emotion. At Muro, within three 


days' journey of the city you propose to visit, he lives 
whom I hold most dear on earth. But a week since, a 
letter was conveyed to me in secret from him ; and in that 
letter he implores me, by the memory of our past and the 
hope of our future happiness, at all hazards, to fly this 
hated place and rejoin him. When I say him, you know 
to whom I allude, for your manner last night convinced 
me that my story was not unknown to, or unlamented by, 
you. Pity me then, and do not misinterpret my motives, 
when I supplicate your aid in escaping from a home which 
has become my dungeon. You start at this application 
from one to whom you are comparatively a stranger! You 
are astonished at the boldness that could have suggested 
it ! Alas ! it is not boldness, but the frenzy of despair. 
Long and severe were my struggles before I could bring 
myself to address you. I thought of the censures of the 
world ; of the indignation of my mother ; of the scorn that 
even you might entertain for me ; but I thought, too, of 
him, and for his sake I am resolved to brave everything. 
Should I remain here a week longer, my doom is sealed ; 
for my mother has insisted on my accepting, without fur- 
ther hesitation, the hand of a man I detest. Do not, then, 
reject my supplication, but aid me to rejoin him ; and two 
hearts that you have saved from breaking shall bless your 
name for ever. I will intrust myself unhesitatingly to 
you. You are manly — you are generous — you have sis- 
ters, you told me, whom you love, and by whom you are 
loved ; imagine, then, that I am one of them, and be to 
me a brother. Oh! if you did but know the agony I have 
endured, the long dreary days and sleepless nightsthat have 
been my portion since he quitted me, you would not hesi- 
tate to grant my request. I have no friend to advise me; 
no hope, but in you : (though I have numbered few years, 
yet my heart is already wrinkled) ; the accents of kindness 
are unfamiliar to my ear ; and when they fell from you 
last night, I could have wept from the strange delight they 

The letter then went on to state that Madame diV— — 


intended setting 1 out immediately to visit a relation who 
resided near the Alban Hill ; and that on the following' 
morning-, the writer, availing- herself of this only opportu- 
nity of escape, would meet me by daybreak, at a spot 
which she specified near the Aventine ; and concluded in 
the following- words, penned evidently under feelings of the 
strongest agitation, and so blotted with tears that I had 
the greatest difficulty in deciphering them. " Forgive me, 
if I have been too bold or too rashly confident : my brain 
is wandering; I scarce know what I have written; but 
still, even amidst my darkest apprehensions, a something 
assures me that you will not betray or desert me. Hark! 
a voice — my mother's voice. I must break off. 

" Hortexse." 

My emotions, on reading this letter, were of a strangely 
complex character, made up of surprise, admiration, and 
bitter disappointment. First, I was struck with the sim- 
plicity — the confidingness — the strength and purity of 
affection — the mixture of timidity and resolution — of gen- 
tleness and desperation — that it developed in every line; 
secondly, I felt but too painfully convinced that it crushed 
out the last faint spark of hope, which even up to this mo- 
ment I had unconsciously nourished. For a time this last 
feeling- predominated ; but soon a worthier spirit prevailed. 
I felt it impossible to refuse a request thus urged ; so I 
resolved, at whatever risk to my own peace of mind, to 
show Hortense that I was not unworthy of the noble con- 
fidence she had reposed in me. 

No sooner had I formed this resolution than, without 
allowing myself a minute's pause, I proceeded to make 
preparations for carrying it into execution; the hurry and 
bustle of which, luckily allowed me no time for those dis- 
creet, but in many instances erroneous, reflections, which 
are usually styled " second thoughts." 

How slowly passed the night that was to usher in the 
eventful morning ! Vainly I strove to compose myself to 
sleep ; the excitement of my nerves would not be allayed ; 


and hour after hour I lay listening to the slow ticking- of 
my watch, vexed — maddened with its monotonous click, 
click; and then vexed with myself for being- such a slave 
to impulse. At last — oh, joyful sight ! — a few faint 
streaks of day came trembling' in at the window; on which 
I leaped from bed, dressed, arranged what few conveniences 
I had to carry with me, and then hurried off to the place 
of rendezvous. 

On reaching the spot, where I found my carriage and 
horses in waiting-, all was still and solitary. I took out my 
watch. It wanted but ten minutes of the hour at which 
Hortense had appointed to meet me, Yet she came not. 
What could be the reason ? My first idea was that her 
flight had been detected; my next, that her timidity had 
taken the alarm, and she had repented of her desperate 
enterprise; but I did injustice to her firmness of character; 
for, just as St. Peter's Basilic struck six, I could discern a 
figure wrapped up in a mantle advancing towards me. As 
it drew nearer, there was no mistaking the shrinking, 
bending form of Hortense. She trembled from head to 
foot, as if she apprehended the worst; whereupon I said, 
" Courage, lady ! remember I am your friend, your sworn 
brother and guardian." 

" My generous benefactor !" she replied, looking up 
timidly and beseechingly in my face, " you will save me, 
then, from this detested marriage ? Speak ; let me know 
my fate at once." 

" I will ; and more than this, I will restore you, at all 
hazards, to the arms of him" — (I could not bring- myself 
to pronounce the word 'Eugene') — " from whom you ought 
never to have been separated ;" and so saying, without 
allowing her time to pour forth her thanks, I hurried her 
into the vehicle, which soon left the Eternal City many 
long miles behind. 

For the first three or four hours, Hortense was in a con- 
stant flutter of alarm. At every sound of wheels she started, 
turned pale, and flung herself back in the carriage ; and 
not a horseman passed, but her fears instantly suggested 


that he had been despatched in pursuit by her mother. 
How harsh — how ungenerous — how cruel — must have been 
the conduct of that mother, the very mention of whosa 
name thus acted on her daughter like a spell of horror ! 

By sunset, however, my young fellow-traveller bad so 
far regained her composure, that she readily closed with 
my proposal of resting for the night at a little town, or 
village, which we reached just as darkness was gathering 
round us : and at an early hour on the following morning 
we resumed our route ; which we continued, without in- 
termission, until we arrived at Venafro, where we made 
our second night's halt, and thence struck at once into 
the heart of the Apennines. 

From this period our course became one of difficulty, if 
not of danger j for though, generally speaking, the Apen- 
nines present no such formidable appearances as the Alps 
or the Pyrenees, yet they are not without their steep 
declivities and narrow rocky defiles — and unfortunately 
it was among the worst of these that our course lay — 
in winding along" which the traveller has need of all his 
caution. Nor are these the only hazards to which he is 
subjected ; for among the secluded recesses of the moun- 
tains, lurk hosts of ferocious brigands. 

The evening of the third day was drawing on, when 
we came to one of the wildest and most secluded passes 
to be found in the whole Apennine range. It ran along 
the edge of a black, thunder-splintered cliff, and here, for 
the first time, the landscape assumed an aspect of im- 
posing, not to say terrible, grandeur. Above us rose a 
vast wall of loose toppling crags, which seemed ever ready 
to fall on our heads ; and before us a stormy sea of moun- 
tains, some lifting', " sheer, abrupt," their sharp naked 
summits to the sky, with deep channels worn into their 
sides by the action of the wintry torrents ; and some 
swelling up more gradually from the valleys, their huge 
foreheads frowning with the eternal gloom of pine and fir. 
Our progress here was necessarily slow, for the road 
was broken, craggy, and narrow — in fact, little better than 

276 the magic of love. 

a footpath, and so full of sharp turns and angles, that 
more than once I was compelled to leave Hortense in the 
carnage, and go forward and assist our driver in guiding 
the mules' heads. 

Night, meanwhile, came striding forward at a giant's 
pace, and the unsettled aspect of the west betokened an 
approaching storm. To increase our embarrassment, we 
found that we had mistaken our way ; and as to go back 
was now quite as useless as to go forward, we had 
nothing left for it but to push on, in the hope that we 
mioht reach some convent or osteria before the storm 
should burst on the mountains. 

We had maintained our course for upwards of half an 
hour along a pass which seemed interminable, when a 
brisk wind sprung up ; a broad, red, and dusky light 
gathered for an instant round the horizon, then faded into 
a dull glimmer; the trees rocked and groaned; and the 
sultriness, which had prevailed more or less throughout 
the day, began to be succeeded by a damp, oppressive 
chill. Almost immediately afterwards — so quick is the 
transition from calm to storm in these elevated regions — 
we could bear the hurricane uplifting its voice among the 
pines, and whistling' shrilly through the clefts in the 
precipice above us. 

At this moment we were winding round a projecting 
crag, beyond which, as well as we could perceive by the 
faint light that was left, our road beg-an to slope a little ; 
when suddenly, without any other- warning than one vivid 
Hash of lightning, the whole fury of the tempest was let 
loose on us. The thunder burst in stunning- crash upon 
crash right above our heads, till the disjointed masses of 
cliff and crag seemed rocking to their very foundation ; 
and the rain fell in such a deluge, that the little streams 
which we had constantly heard trickling across our path 
now swelled to the size of torrents, and dashed in cataracts 
into the ravine beneath. 

Fortunately, just previous to this, I had prevailed on 
my companion to quit the carriage, and walk forward 


with me — my mantle being* closely folded round her, so 
as to shield her as much as possible from the rain — while 
our postillion followed, guiding the mules, which had 
become quite restive from fright, and kept plunging to- 
wards the edge of the cliff. I say fortunately, — for 
scarcely had we advanced a hundred paces, when a second 
thunder-clap, louder than any that had yet preceded it, 
detached a fragment of rock which overhung the road we 
had passed but a few minutes before. Down fell the 
enormous mass, crushing- and bearing down all before it, 
right into the very middle of the path • and hardly had 
the postillion time to let go his hold and make a desperate 
bound towards us, when it came in contact with the car- 
riage, and hurled it over the edge of the pass into the 
glen; from whence, heard far above the roar of the 
hurricane, came up the piercing yell of the mules, as they 
bounded from crag to crag and then plunged into the 
black abyss. 

" What cry wa3 that ? " exclaimed Hortense, in great 

" "lis the mules," said the driver ; they're gone right 
over the cliff, and are dashed to atoms by this time." 

"Gone!" murmured Hortense, with a shudder that 
shook her whole frame, " gone ! it will be our turn 

It seemed, indeed, but too probable ; for night was 
around us in all its gloom, and by the lightning only were 
we enabled to track our progress. Under these circum- 
stances, I felt it was madness to proceed; so, seating my 
companion on a bit of broken rock that projected into the 
path, I proposed to go forward alone, and see if I could 
discover any cave or recess where we might find shelter 
till the storm had subsided. 

But she was too much terrified to hear of my proposi- 
tion. " Don't leave me," she whispered ; " I am sure 
you will be lost if you do. If we die, let us die together." 

The postillion, who was close behind us, here volun- 
teered to go himself and look out for a place of shelter, 


which enabled me to direct my whole attention to Hor- 
tense ; so, taking- my seat beside her, I wrung* the wet 
from her mantle, chafed her cold hands, and endeavoured 
to inspire her with confidence. 

In a few minutes our guide returned, with intelligence 
that he had discovered a recess hard by, whither we 
instantly proceeded to support Hortense. "Twas a damp, 
forlorn spot, and the wind moaned through it like the 
low wailing of a ghost : but I heeded not its gloom ■ I 
felt only that she was by my side ; that it was her head 
that reclined on my shoulder; her small white hand that 
gently clasped mine ; her sweet voice that in low fervent 
tones acknowledged me as her friend and brother. In 
her presence all was cheerfulness. It was desolation only 
when she was absent. 

We remained in the cave upwards of half an hour; 
when, the rain having abated, and my young companion 
having recovered from her first alarms, we ventured to 
pursue our journey ; and were soon rewarded for our 
perseverance by finding the path become less irregular 
and precipitous as we descended, and hearing, in the 
pauses of the wind, the distant ringing of a convent-bell. 

A few minutes' more toilsome walking brought us on 
level ground, whence we could distinctly see through the 
darkness, apparently but a few yards ahead, the glimmer- 
ing of a light. "Thank God, we are safe now ! " said I, 
pointing out this welcome ray to Hortense. 

" I trust so," was her faint reply ; " but what a night 
has this been for us all ! " and as she spoke, I could 
feel her arm quivering like an aspen-leaf within mine. 

The rage of the tempest was by this time greatly 
abated ; but the lightning- was still vivid, and, by its fre- 
quent coruscations, I could see that we were indeed 
approaching the habitations of men. The bark of a dog 
confirmed me in this opinion; the light, too, which we 
had before noticed, became every moment more distinct; 
and, following its direction, we at length arrived under 
the walls of one of those small convents which are so 


frequent among the Abruzzi, and the more inland branch 
of the Apennines. 

The monks had just quitted the chapel, and were 
about retiring to their cells for the night, when our ringing 
brought them to the portal. There was no need of words, 
for the dismal plight we were in sufficiently told the 
nature of our wants ; so, ushering us into a land of hall 
or refectory, the good fathers instantly got ready a cheer- 
ful fire, together with the best repast their scanty means 
would allow. 

Spent with the day's toil, Hortense declined any 
further refreshment than a single cup of wine ; and after 
waiting till her room was prepared for her reception, 
retired to the only convenient chamber the convent had to 
boast, which was devoted to the use of benighted travel- 
lers like ourselves; while I remained up, drying my 
clothes by the fire, and conversing between whiles with 
the superior, who invited me to occupy his cell ; but on 
my expressing a desire to remain where I was, he quitted 
me at a late hour, after trimming the lamp and throwing 
fresh logs on the hearth. 

All was now silent within the convent, though with- 
out I could still hear the wind whistling about its old 
walls. 'Twas an hour for meditation, and I felt its 
power. I thought of the events of the last few days; 
of the sudden transformation they had effected in my 
character ; and of the strange magic of that passion 
which had compelled me, as it were, to minister to my 
own despair. " Yes," said I, aloud, while at the same 
time, to drown the sense of loneliness that crept over me, 
I kept quaffing cup after cup of wine, "she whose very 
presence is sunshine, without whom all is sterile and cheer- 
less in nature and my own heart, this divine being- — so 
loved, so reverenced, so worshipped — I have become the 
means of resigning to another ! And can he prize her as 
I do ? Can he make the sacrifice to her that I am doing ? 
Why, even amidst the wildest fury of the tempest, when 
death spoke in the thunder, and glared on me in the 


lightning, I felt a tumultuous thrill of rapture, such as I 
never felt before, while I clasped this treasure in my 
arms, felt her breath upon my cheek, and heard her 
whisper, 'We will die together.' Die together! Yet we 
may not live together ! " 

At this instant the convent clock struck twelve. I rose 
and went to the casement. The storm had rolled away 
in distance. The sky was without a cloud. " All is 
still," I continued, gazing abroad on the night; " she too 
sleeps ; and, perhaps, at this very moment, while I keep 
lonely watch, is dreaming of Eugene. See ! they have 
just met ! How she welcomes him — hangs about his 

neck — feeds, stifles him with kisses, and calls him ■ 

I shall go mad ! " and rushing to the table, I quaffed 
another full cup of wine, in the hope of driving away the 
phantoms that a too vivid fancy had coDJured up. 

By this time it was past midnight ; and, finding that 
slumber, despite all my efforts, was gradually stealing 
over me, I took up my mantle, which I had stretched out 
before the hearth to dry, and wrapping it round me, 
threw myself along the floor in front of the fire, and, in a 
few minutes, sunk into a profound sleep, from which I 
was only awakened by the morning sun glancing in at 
the window. 

My first sensations on rising were merely those of chill 
and numbness ; but soon other and more unfavourable 
symptoms, aggravated by my late state of health, began 
to develop themselves ; and by the time my sister — for as 
such she was considered by the monks — made her appear- 
ance at the breakfast-table, I had become so seriously 
indisposed that the superior, who was a bit of a leech in 
his way, insisted on my retiring to his pallet — a proposal, 
however, which Hortense would not hear of; so, at her 
earnest entreaties, I was supported to her own room, 
where she and Padre Battista volunteered to play between 
them the parts of nurse and physician. 

But the former was my chief attendant. For four 
days, during which my state was really critical, she 


counted the long dull hours beside my couch. When I 
awoke at midnight from dreams of horror, it was to see 
her angel form bending over me ; when I started from a 
feverish doze, to see the midday sun streaming in through 
the closed windows, or its declining ray giving place to the 
brown shades of evening — still, there she was ; and 
though I would fain have released her from such irksome 
attendance, and even the superior insisted on taking her 
place, she would not be denied ; but if she ever quitted 
the room, it was but to return in a few minutes, prepared 
for fresh offices of kindness. She it was whose hands 
administered my medicine, wiped the damps from my 
brow, and freshened my glued and clammy lips. She 
seemed to feel no weariness — no disappointment at the 
temporary frustration of her hopes ; but wore ever an 
encouraging smile on her countenance, speaking in accents 
that fell like music on my ear, and moving about with the 
light noiseless ti'ead of a fairy. 

The fourth night was the crisis of my disorder, and, 
during- the whole time, I lay in a state of almost con- 
stant delirium. My ears rung with strange noises, my 
veins seemed charged with fire, and all those spectral 
illusions which fever is so apt to conjure up were let loose 
on me in dreams. First, I thought that I was pacing 
alone, at sunset, over an Arabian desert, when suddenly I 
heard a strange hurtling in the air, and gazing far into 
the distance, beheld, on the horizon's verge, a gigantic 
column, whose head was hidden among the clouds, rushing 
towards me. On — onward came the tornado, filling- my 
mouth, my eyes, every poie of my skin, with dust, and 
crushing me to a mummy beneath its weight. A sound, 
as of the rush of mighty waters, roused me from this 
state of torture, and, lifting up my feeble eyes, I descried, 
first, the indistinct heavings of a surge, then the long, 
unbroken swell of billows, till at leno-th a whole ocean 
burst in thunder on the desert, sweeping me far away 
on its bosom, now tossed high up in the air, now plunged 
into an abyss, amid the roar of the winds, the bellowing 


of the waves, and the shouts of a thousand unknown 

A change ensued. The scene was Gwynnevay. It 
was a summer daybreak ; the air was brisk and elastic, 
the hedges were alive with music, and the dewdrops hung 
half-melted on the thistle's heard. Before me, at no 
great distance, lay the sea, darkened here and there by 
the shadow of a passing sail; and behind, my native 
village put forth its glad beauty in the sunshine. But 
hark ! whose is that fairy step that comes gliding down 
the lane? She hastens towards me. Ah! 'tis Hor- 
tense ! But the maiden's cheek was wan, the spirit of a 
premature decay lent a fatal lustre to her eye, and her 
voice seemed to have caught its tones from the grave. 
While I was yet rambling with her among the woods of 
Gwynnevay, a cloud rolled between us, the landscape as- 
sumed an altered character, and I stood solitary in the 
churchyard, low down in the lane, where the elms, meet- 
ing overhead, cast ever a cold shadow on the earth. But 
where was Hortense ? Gone ; and in her place stood my 
rival Eugene, glaring on me like a demon. A sword was 
in his hand; but what of that? I rushed on him ; the 
steel snapped like glass in my grasp ; and, burying the 
fragment in his breast, I bore him to the ground — spit — 
trampled on him, and — " Ha, ha, the fiend is dead !" — ■ 
" Dead ?" repeated a mocking- voice in my ear. 'Twas his. 
An icy hand grasped mine. 'Twas his. A g'lassy, freezing 
eye fixed its horrid g-lance on me. Still, 'twas his — and 
I awoke with a shudder that convulsed my whole frame. 

It was some minutes before I regained my recollection; 
but when I did, the first object on which my eyes settled 
was Hortense, who was seated by my side, pale with 
watching'. The instant I recog-nised her I exclaimed, 
"Speak to me, lady; let the last music I shall hear on 
earth be your voice ;" and I sank back again in a swoon ; 
from which I recovered only to hear the stifled sobs of 
my young nurse, who was watching* each change in my 
countenance with eves dimmed with tears. 


When she perceived that I was again conscious of her 
presence, she whispered, with a forced smile, that belied 
her words, " You are better now ; I am sure you are •" 
and was rising to shade the lamp from my eyes, when, 
mistaking the object of her movement, I said, " Do not 
leave me ; I have had frightful dreams ; he was with me ; 
if you go, he will return." 

She saw that my thoughts were wandering ; so, placing 
her hand gently on my mouth, she said, " Hush ! you 
must not speak ; the superior has enjoined silence on us 

Padre Battiste here entered the room, and had no 
sooner taken my hand, on which a refreshing moisture 
was beginning to break out, than he pronounced the crisis 
of the fever to be past. 

" Thank God !" cried Hortense, clasping her hand?. 
" My friend — my brother ! — if you had — but no, no ; the 
worst is past ! Come, let me smooth your pillow. See, 
father, how much brighter his eye is ! How calm he lies ! 
He can breathe freely now." 

The superior made a sign to her to be silent, and was 
preparing to administer an opiate, when, with the way- 
ward feeling of an invalid, I made a sign that Hortense 
should give it ; and receiving it accordingly from her 
hands, I soon dropped off into a long-, dreamless slumber. 
In a few days my strength was so far recruited that I 
was able to take short walks in the convent garden with 
Hortense, occasionally accompanied by some of the monks; 
and the pure mountain breezes that blew about me, the 
quiet in which I lived, and, above all, the constant pre- 
sence of my young' fellow-traveller, completed the work 
of restoration ; so that at the end of a fortnight I felt 
strong enough to pursue my journey. I bad proposed to 
go even earlier ; but my gentle nurse, with that disinte- 
restedness which formed so prominent a feature in iier 
character, would not hear of my proposal. Even the 
claims of love were, to her lofty mind, inferior, under the 
circumstances, to those of gratitude. 


Early on the morning of the fifteenth day, we took 
leave of our hospitable entertainers ; and as no better 
means of conveyance were to be had — our carriage having 
been found dashed to atoms at the bottom of a ravine — 
we hired a couple of mules, and under the direction of an 
active young peasant, whom the superior had engaged for 
a guide, and provisioned with all things needful, we set 
forward for the little town of Muro, the place of Eugene's 

Our journey throughout this day was delightful, espe- 
cially to Hortense, who, feeling for the first time since her 
flight, a tolerable sense of security, began to develop a 
thousand sprightly traits of character. Her disposition, 
indeed, was naturally cheerful ; and there was a buoyancy 
in her every movement, a sunniness in her smile, a laugh- 
ing witchery in the tones of her voice, that had all the effect 
of intoxication on my mind. I had already experienced 
the kindness of her nature ; I was now to become ac- 
quainted with other and rarer qualities. Though her 
manner was soft and deferential, still there was a con- 
scious dignity — a uniform sense of propriety about her — a 
proud, but not austere, reliance on her own innate rectitude 
of intention, and an unvarying confidence in the integrity 
of mine, that, had I been inclined to presume on my situa- 
tion, would have awed me into shame. She had taste, too, 
and fancy, and a mind fertile in intellectual resources ; and 
the various grand and lovely scenes over which we passed, 
drew forth all these refined qualities. 

Sometimes our road would lead us along a narrow strip 
of valley, shut out from the world by huge mountains, 
among- whose recesses were perched the rude summer 
cabins of the Apennine peasantry ; and at others, into the 
heart of a dark glen, where the sun looked in on us through 
woods of cork and chestnut, over giant crags unsealed by 
human foot. 

One landscape, in particular, struck us with such in- 
voluntary admiration that we both halted by tacit con- 
sent to enjoy it. We had been toiling for some time up 


an ascent of almost mountain elevation, when, on reaching 
the summit, we saw crag, valley, and meadow, and waving 
woods, and villages hanging on the sides of hills, robed in 
the rich green drapery of summer, with here and there 
the towers of a convent gleaming through the trees, bask- 
ing in the meridian sunlight at our feet ; while in the far 
perspective, where sky and land seemed peacefully com- 
mingling, we could catch a glimpse of a town, which 
Hortense's ardent imagination instantly suggested to her 
as Muro. 

It was a scene to feel, not to describe ; and I was re- 
luctantly preparing to quit it, when our guide approached, 
and suggested that, as many a long mile yet lay between 
us and the place where we were to make our night's halt, 
we should seat ourselves and take some refreshment ; and, 
without waiting for a reply, he produced from his wallet a 
bag of boiled chestnuts, the remains of a fine ham, a loaf of 
bread, and a small flagon of wine. It was a homely re- 
past, but mountaineers are seldom fastidious ; and as I 
sat beside Hortense, listening to her sprightly talk, and 
gazing* on the vast landscape around, which was hushed 
into a Sabbath stillness, except when now and then the 
piping of a shepherd's reed, or the tinkling of a mule's 
bell came sounding- up from the valley below us, 1 would 
not have exchanged my situation for that of the proudest 
monarch in Europe. 

Our guide's tongue was not idle during this mountain 
bivouac, and he indulged us with various anecdotes of the 
brigands, in which all the Apennine peasantry abound ; 
till, finding that Hortense began to be alarmed, he stopped 
short, and, rising from his seat, said, " We have delayed 
so long here, that we have not a moment to lose ; for if 
night should surprise us before we reach that village" — 
pointing to a small cluster of cottages which, though they 
seemed close beneath us, were in reality many miles dis- 
tant — " we might be exposed to some hazard." 

This decided us; and, remounting our mules, we re- 
sumed our journey : but wo had not advanced farther 


than a hundred yards, when we heard the shrill tones of 
a bugle, and presently a small troop of Austrian cavalry 
appeared, winding round the base of a low broad hill 
before us. 

Hortense was the first to see them ; and, pointing - them 
on t to my notice, exclaimed, exultingly, while her whole 
countenance was lit up with animation, ''Eugene, 'too, is a 
soldier !" Never had I seen her look so lovely as at this 
moment. Expression had given the last magic touch to 
her beauty. When I had first met her among the ruins of 
the Palatine, she reminded me of some soft sylvan land- 
scape, seen on a day when winds are still, and skies are 
clouded; she was now like that same landscape, when 
laughing breezes play about it, and all its graceful fea- 
tures are drawn forth, and live, and glow, and sparkle 
beneath the inspiring influence of a cloudless sun. 

" Eugene is a soldier !" said I, repeating her words ; 
" are all manly excellences, then, summed up in the word 

" You mistake me," she replied ; " I meant not that ; 
how should I, when I bear in mind what you have braved 
in my behalf? But Eugene was the friend of my child- 
hood ; we grew up together, and my heart was wholly 
his before I knew I had one to bestow." 

" Well, lady, well, I meant not reproach ; though 
feelings that I could not — but no matter; you are my 

" I am, I am," s,he replied eagerly, with all the charm- 
ing vivacity of her nation ; " and no sister ever loved a 
brother dearer than I will love you." 

By this time the sun had wheeled towards the west, 
and long pensile streaks of gold and silver edged the 
clouds, which lay piled up in fantastic masses on each 
other, while a warm purple glow hung like a glory over 
the landscape. 

" What a divine sunset !" said I, addressing Hortense. 
" Of all the sources of enjoyment which nature unfolds for 
our use, I know few equal to those we feel when gazing 


on a scene like this. There is something 1 in this hour, so 
tender — so holy — so fraught with simple yet suhlime asso- 
ciations, that it seems to partake rather of heaven than 
earth. The day, with all its selfish commonplace inte- 
rests, has gone by, and the season of intelligence — of 
imagination — of spirituality, is dawning - . Yes; twilight 
does indeed unlock the Blandusian fountain of fancy : 
there, as in a mirror, reflecting all things in added loveli- 
ness, the heart surveys the past; the dead — the absent — 
the estranged — come thronging back on our minds; and 
thus, lady, will it be with me, when you are no longer by 
my side. Never, at this hour, shall I recall the past, but 
fancy will bring you to my mind." 

" Such was the way," replied Hortense, "that Eugene 
used to speak, when it was no crime in me to listen to 
him ; and it was the remembrance of his last conversation 
with me, on an evening like this at Tivoli, that pressed so 
heavily on my mind, when you met me with my uncle 
and my mother on the Palatine." 

" Happy Eugene ! to he able to call forth such feel- 
ings ! Would to God that his lot were — " then suddenly 
checking* myself, I added, in a more equable tone, " See, 
Hortense, how the cold evening is saddening over those 
rocks, that but a few minutes since blushed with the red 
light of the setting' sun. Just such a change, so sudden, 
so cheerless, will take place in my feelings, ere another 
day goes down on the Apennines. You now shed light 
and warmth on them; but when once your enlivening 
presence is withdrawn, they will be as dull and lonely as 

" Not so," returned Hortense, kindly ; " it cannot be as 
you say. But you talked of quitting us 1" 

" Even so." 

" This must not be. You must stay with us, and share 
in the happiness you have yourself created." 

A-H further conversation was here put an end to by the 
guide, who informed us, not a little to our surprise and 
dismay, that it would now be wholly impossible to reach 


the village before darkness overtook us, unless, indeed, we 
were prepared to lose our way in a wild district infested 
by brigands. He added, however, that there was a little 
ruined chapel hard-by, within winch, as the night was 
warm, and dry, and clear, we might perhaps make shift 
to rest till daybreak. 

To this Hortense was by no means willing to accede; 
but seeing that I pressed it, apprehensive of the hazards to 
which we might otherwise be exposed — for our little party 
was wholly unarmed — she gave up the point; and in a 
few minutes we reached the chapel, which was erected 
close beside the road. The walls alone were standing ; 
and within, right under what must have once been the 
main window, was fixed a plain crucifix, which no sooner 
caught Hortense's eyes, than, alighting from her mule, 
she threw herself on her knees before it. 

How touching is female piety ! How sweetly fall its 
accents from the lips of the young and the beautiful ! I 
had heard the solemn choirs beneath the majestic roof of 
St. Peter, where religion puts on her most imposing form ; 
but never was my heart so touched, so purified, as when 
I saw Hortense kneeling in that lone chapel, among the 
dim silent mountains, looking the very incarnation of 
peace and piety. 

When she had risen from her knees, we proceeded to- 
gether into the heart of the ruins, where, after a diligent 
scrutiny, I discovered a small nook, which had apparently 
once formed the oratory, but was now detached from the 
main building. As this wing or angle was the most 
sheltered part of the chapel, being surrounded on all sides 
but one by low walls, just outside of which rose a thick 
grove of firs, I proposed to Hortense to make it her rest- 
ing-place ; and having collected some dry moss and leaves, 
to form a sort of couch, and spread my mantle over them 
by way of coverlet, I quitted her for a short time, while I 
arranged with the guide to stay and take charge of the 
mules in the wood, which ran sloping down a small mound 
into a meadow below. 


I was absent but half an hour, looking- about in all 
directions to see tbat no one was observing- us, yet when I 
came back I found Hortense buried in deep sleep. There 
she lay, beneath the light of the now risen moon, which 
never watched over the slumbers of a purer being- ; with 
one snowy arm half-hidden beneath her head, .and the 
other pressed on a bosom that just lightly heaved with a 
serene swell, like ocean on a breezeless summer day. How 
lovely she looked ! A warmer flush than usual glowed 
on her cheek ; a faint smile that might have become the 
sleeping Psyche, played around her lips; her long- silken 
lashes drooped over her eyes, which were shut up, like 
sweet flowers at twilight ; her delicate swan-like neck, on 
whose alabaster surface lay one or two straggling ringlets 
was partially revealed ; and beneath the mantle that con- 
cealed the rest of her figure, peeped out one small slender 

I was dazzled — bewildered by this image of transcen- 
dent beauty, and stooping down, I imprinted one kiss — 
the first, the last — on the peach-like down of the young 
sleeper's cheek. But hark! she moves — she smiles — 
a name escapes her lips ! Is it mine ? Am I the sub- 

J'ect of her dream? Have I called forth that smile? 
dad, conceited fool ! 'Tis Eugene's name she murmurs. 
With a sickening feeling of despair, I started from the 
ground as I heard this word ; and, stifling a groan that 
struggled to my throat, I rushed from the chapel into the 
thick dark grove that frowned beside it. 

It was now night. All was hushed around — below — 
above — while I, restless and desponding, moved alone 
amid the solitudes of earth. Alone on earth! What 
a dreary hopeless feeling do these few words convey ! Yet 
this, I said, must be my destiny. A few hours, and the 
form that now gilds my path will have passed away, 
leaving but the memory of what has been. Well, better 
it should be so. To walk with her — to listen to her — to 
banquet on her smiles — to draw in love from the liquid 
lustre of her eyes — to share her thoughts, yet be compelled 


to restrain my own — to be devoted to her, yet not dare to 
tell her that I love — to be studiously reserved, when my 
heart is at my lips — I should sink beneath the struggle, 
were it to endure but another day. 

In vain I strove to shake off the gloom with which these 
feelings inspired me. The very hour served to enhance it, 
What — I continued, looking up to the blue, quiet sky — 
what is there in the holy stillness of a night like this, that 
should thus cast a deeper shade over my mind? The 
stars that send down their tranquil radiance on earth; 
the moon that walks the stedfast floor of heaven in the 
spirit of peace and benignity ; the breeze that brings 
the various harmonies of creation to my ear, till the very 
soul of sacred melody seems breathing in them ; surely, 
these are sights and sounds to elevate, not depress me. 
Where then lies the secret of the dark spell which night 
holds over my feelings ? In the power with which it en- 
forces meditation, and, by consequence, melancholy — for 
with me, at least, reflection has become but another word 
for sadness. 

Thus, restless and moody, I was slowly making my way 
back into the chapel, when my attention was called off by 
the sound of footsteps, and presently I could hear voices 
at the bottom of the slope. I listened; the strangers 
evidently drew nearer; so, concealing myself behind one of 
the thickest of the trees, I watched their movements, and 
could see, by the pistols in their belts, and the relics at 
their breasts, that they were brigands, — a discovery that 
was confirmed by the imperfect fragments of their conver- 
sation which I overheard, and which related to some enter- 
prise in which they had lately failed, on the road between 
Muro and Naples. 

What a state of intense anxiety was mine at this mo- 
ment! What should I do? How protect the young 
sleeper in the chapel ? I was unarmed. My guide was 
at some distance. He might wake. The mules might 
stir; in which case inevitable destruction awaited our 
whole party. 


The brigands were by this time right underneath me; 
but as the nature of my hiding-place screened me from 
observation, I endeavoured, with extreme <^&"?.or;, to steal 
back into the chapel, if not to awaken Hortense — for I 
feared the effects, of alarm on her mind — at least to keep 
watch beside her. 

But the practised ear of the robbers had caught the 
sound of my tread. " Hark !" said one, " some one is 
stirring here. I heard a footstep." 

"Nonsense," replied his companion, "'tis only the wind 
among the trees." 

Both then halted an instant, and the first speaker, un- 
sling-ing his carbine, and bringing it to the ground with a 
heavy clang, stood leaning- on it, and darting his eyes 
right towards that part of the grove where I was stationed. 
'Twas a moment of unutterable agony; for from the 
keen suspicious glance of the ruffian I made sure we were 
discovered, and in an instant I should have sunk to the 
ground, had not the fellow, apparently satisfied that he 
was mistaken, relaxed his scrutiny, and said, " It is of no 
use loitering longer in this neighbourhood ; we had far 
better return to the pass above Venafro ; for the travellers 
whose broken carriage Jacopo saw in the glen must have 
reached Naples by this time;" and so saying, I could 
hear them slowly retiring, on which, after thanking God 
for our timely deliverance, I quitted my hiding-place, and 
went in search of the guide, whom I found fast asleep 
a few paces from me in the grove, with the mules tethered 
to a tree beside him. 

I waited until convinced the brigands were out of 
hearing, and then woke the guide; and having acquainted 
him with the dangers we had all just escaped, I bade him 
keep watch outside the chapel, so that, should any more 
of the troop come up, we might be better prepared to 
make resistance ; and then entered the little nook, where 
I found Hortense just waking from her sleep, and I 
remained by her side till daybreak summoned us to de- 


Brightly broke the morning — the last morning that I 
was to meet, face to face, on the Apennines with Hor- 
tense. The mists were fast rolling off, like smoke, from 
the mountains' sides; earth was steeped in dewy fresh* 
ness; and my young fellow traveller, refreshed by sleep, 
and anticipating, ere the day should be many hours older, 
her reunion with Eugene, partook of the cheering- in- 
fluence of the season. 

How different were my sensations ! Every mile that 
brought her nearer to happiness was bearing mefarther from 
it. ■ I made several efforts to rouse myself, or, at least, to 
conceal my depression ; but it was of no avail ; and I rode 
for miles beside Hortense, scarce able to make any reply 
to her apt remarks, when any bend of our road brought 
out some more than ordinary picturesque feature in the 

Seeing this, she prevailed on me to alight from my 
mule, and ramble on with her on foot ; and on one par- 
ticular occasion, when I had made no answer to some 
sprightly question she had put, she began bantering me 
with that arch yet delicate familiarity which is so irresis- 
tible a wenpon in the hands of beauty. 

" See what it is to be a philosopher!" she said; "I 
have asked you a simple question three times, but your 
thoughts have been wandering with the sages of old, in 
the clouds, and you have not yet made me a reply." 

" Forgive my rudeness, but I was thinking at the 
time — " 

" I know you were, you looked so grave. But why 
Ave you so ? Are you not well ? " she asked, in a more 
softened tone. 

" No, my mind is weighed down with — " 

" Come, come, you must not give way to dark thoughts. 
Remember, you are still bound to adopt whatever regimen 
I shall prescribe. So let me see you smile. Good. Upon 
my word, you do wonders for an invalid ! Oh, if you did 
but know how much more a smile becomes you than a frown! 
Now don't shake your head so gravely at me. ^ am 


silly — I know it ; but it is your fault — you have made 
me so — so happy !" and flinging back her sunny tresses, 
she held out her hand to me with a smile that went to 
my heart like a sunburst. 

In this way we kept chatting on, Hortense doing all 
she could to raise my flagging spirits, until we reached the 
village, which we bad missed the night before. Here we 
halted to breakfast at a small osteria, and then set out 
again on our journey, and, in less than two bours, reached 
tbe last chain of hills tbat alone divided us from Muro. 

'Twas a lovely landscape that now spread itself out at 
our feet, but looked on by me with feelings far different 
from those of Hortense. I saw nothing in tbe broad ele- 
vated valley, at one end of which the town is situated, in 
the classic ruins that adorn it, and in the clear chattering- 
stream that winds through it, but objects calculated to 
impress me with bitter regret ; she, naught but what was 
enlivening and beautiful. She looked on tbe prospect 
with the bright eyes of hope ; I, with those only of clouded 

On, on we went ; and now we have passed the hills, 
have reached the level ground, and are halting within a 
mile — yes, within one short mile — of Muro ! This halt 
was made at my request. I had resolved on no account 
to see Eugene ; indeed, the sight of his happiness would 
have roused feelings in me that I would not, for the 
world, have betrayed ; so, hastily furbishing up the first 
pretext that presented itself, I said, " "lis the last favour 
I shall ask of you, lady; but, as it is just possible you 
may have erred in Eugene's abode, or he may have been 
discovered and compelled to fly, let us send forward our 
guide, and here await his return." 

To this request Hortense, wondering, no doubt, at its 
singularity, acceded, though not without reluctance ; and, 
accordingly, we despatched the young muleteer into the 
town, who returned within the hour with a note, written 
in evident haste by Eugene, and to the effect that he had 
been expecting his mistress' arrival for some days ; but 


that, having- been discovered, he dared no longer remain 
within the States of the Church, and had, therefore, set 
out for Cagliari, where some friends were staying, through 
whose influence at the court of Turin he was not without 
hopes of obtaining employment in the army. The letter 
concluded by imploring her to lose not an instant in re- 
joining him, and was clearly written under the sanguine 

idea that Madame di V might have relented, and 

allowed her daughter's departure. 

The receipt of this letter was a sad blow to Hortense ; 
all the enthusiasm which she had evinced during the 
morning was at once put an end to ; and I could only 
restore her to composure by acceding to her request that 
I would not lose a moment in setting out for Cagliari. 

In fulfilment, accordingly, of this promise, we hastened 
on to Muro, where we discharged our guide — the difficul- 
ties of our journey being now nearly at an end — and, 
travelling at the utmost speed that circumstances would 
admit of, reached Naples at the end of the third day. 

Fain would I have detained Hortense at this superb 
city, but she was in agony to depart ; seeing which, I 
interposed no further delay ; but finding on inquiry that a 
vessel was lying in the harbour which was about to sail for 
the Sardinian coast, I engaged for a passage in it, and 
embarked the very morning after our arrival at Naples. 

Had either of us been in the mood, we might have 
lingered with admiration on the magnificent scene that 
presented itself, as we floated over the waters of this 
unrivalled bay. We might have marked the heights of 
Pausilippo — the little isle of Ischia — the frowning Vesuvius 
— and, above all, the splendid appearance that the city 
we were leaving- behind us made from the sea ; but other 
thoughts engrossed our attention, and we cast but an idle 
look at this most beautiful of landscapes, in a region 
teeming with beauties. 

Our voyage was brisk and prosperous ; no sooner had 
we lost sight of Naples, and were abroad on the open sea, 
than Hortense's usual cheerfulness began to return; and 


she would sit for hours upon deck, listening to the mys- 
terious sounds that ever and anon came wafted towards 
us ; and bending' a lively, inquisitive glance over the waters, 
in the hope, as she laughingly observed, that she might 
be the first to catch a glimpse of the Sardinian shores. 

We had been about three days at sea, when, on the 
morning of the fourth, the cry of " Land " was raised by 
a sailor at the mast-bead; and soon afterwards we dis- 
covered the distant island-coast, hanging like a cloud in 
the horizon. Hortense, of course, was among the first to 
greet this welcome object; and, after gazing on it for some 
time in silence, she turned to me, and said, 4< How slowly 
the vessel moves ! See, the land seems to recede as we 
advance !" 

" Slow !" I replied, " I was just now wondering at the 
rapid progress we are making," and bade her mark the 
swelling outline of the coast, which was gradually be- 
coming more broadly and distinctly traced on the horizon. 

Towards evening we came within sight of Cagliari, and by 
sunset had approached it so closely that we could hear the 
convent-bells ringing for vespers, and perceive the vessels 
in the offing, and even the palaces, churches, and streets 
rising up, like the work of enchantment, from the sea. A 
few minutes more, and we had cast anchor within bow- 
shot of the town, from which several boats instantly put 
off, for the purpose of assisting us to land. 

At this instant, Hortense and myself were standing 
alone at one end of the vessel. I seized the favourable 
opportunity, and, in a voice half choked with emotion, 
which I strove in vain to subdue, thus, for the last time, 
addressed her : " Lady, De Grey has kept his word, and 
the time has arrived when you and he must part. I an- 
ticipate your reply — I respect its motive — but my resolu- 
tion is unalterable." 

She looked at me, as I said this, with unfeigned asto- 
nishment. " Part !" she exclaimed ; " surely you will see 
Eugene ? You have been my saviour — you must become 
his friend. Oh, if you did but know him !" 


"Too well I know him, and too well, but too late, I 
know myself. You, lady, have taught me that know- 
ledge. When I first met you, I was a cold, shy recluse, 
living alone in a world of abstraction ; but you breathed 
warmth into me ; you brought all my better thoughts into 
leaf; you taught me that I could love, and perhaps even 
that I was worthy to be loved. If I now confess thus 
much, it is only because my motives can no longer be mis- 
interpreted ; and because, in spite of myself, my feelings 
at this hour, when we are about to be separated, will find a 
voice. Lady — Hortense, from the first moment I beheld 
you, your image filled the void which I had so long felt 
in my heart. Asleep or awake, absent or present, it has 
never left me for an instant. You start. Surely my 
words cannot take you by surprise ! 'Twere not in human 
nature to feel otherwise than I feel. How could I be in- 
sensible to your beauty? How forget the forbearance — 
the tenderness — the devotion — the noble disregard of self 
you showed me at the convent? or that rare magnanimity 
of soid which, judging - of others by itself, selected me as 
the object of its confidence? If these are things to be 
forgotten, what is there that deserves to be remembered ?" 

" My kind — my noble benefactor — " 

" No thanks, lady ; I deserve none. I have but done 
my duty, and it is the consciousness of this, joined with 
the respect — the reverence I entertain, and must ever 
entertain, towards you, that sustains me at this parting 
hour, and has enabled me to repress my feelings, even 
when my heart was bursting. 'Twas not when I was 
most reserved that I was least sensible of the magic of 
your presence. Often, during this memorable journey, 
have I longed to tell you of the deep, the impassioned 
feelings with which you inspired me; that my existence 
was bound up in yours ; that I had no other use of being 
than to devote it to you; no sense of suffering, but when 
you suffered; of enjoyment, but when you were happy; 
that I loved you with a passion, fervent, exalted, disin- 
terested as ever yet beat within man's bosom; — often, 


lady, have I longed to tell you this, but I respected your 
situation ; I felt, too, that you had placed confidence in 
my honour, and that I was bound, by all the ties that can 
bind an honourable man, to prove myself worthy of it." 

" How shall I thank you ? What shall I say ? " 

" Nothing", lady : yet stay ; when to-morrow's sun sets, 
look at it, and think of me. I shall be gazing- at it too, 
and 'twill be some little consolation for me to feel that 
both of us, at that moment, are dwelling on the same 
object. 'Twill be no treason to love, that you should 
bestow a passing thought on friendship." 

" I will — I will — but you must not give way to this 
melancholy. You must return home — mix with the 
world — and, in the love of some other woman, learn to 
regard me as a sister." 

"Never. None can again be to me what you have 
been, but must be no longer. You were the first woman 
I ever loved ; and to your name, fancy, and sentiment, 
and memory, will cling henceforth for ever. When I 
am sad, I will think of you; when I am cheerful, I will 
think of you ; you shall be a pure, holy talisman, to wean 
me from ignoble thoughts, and prompt to generous 
actions ; and when I die, yours shall be the last name that 
shall escape my lips, and be found graven on my heart's 
core. And now, dearest Hortense — sister — idol of my 
soul — in parting with whom I seem to part with hope, 
and even life itself — farewell ; be happy, be prosperous ; 
but do not forget De Grey, or the hours passed with him 
among the Apennines." 

By this time the boat was close under the vessel's 
bows, and Hortense and myself embarking, we were 
speedily convej'ed to land. Not a word was spoken on 
either side. The thoughts of both were too deep for 
utterance. When we reached the quay, we instantly 
proceeded to the house whither Eugene had directed us 
in his letter. Ic was easily found, being situated within a 
few yards of the castle. A light was burning in the pas- 
gage. Hortense rushed in. A stranger advanced to meet 


her, and I just heard the words "dearest Hortense," when, 
before she could turn round to hid me farewell, I tore 
myself away, and quitted her sight for ever. 

On returning to the vessel I sat down, like one stupified, 
on deck. " But a few minutes ago," I said, " and Hor- 
tense was here heside me. She is now gone — gone, with 
her angel smiles — her voice so full of music — her counte- 
nance so radiant with beauty — gone, never to come back !" 
and, fairly overcome by my feelings, for I knew not the 
bitterness of my bereavement till now, I wept and sobbed 
like a child. Still, while even the slightest trace of day 
remained, I kept my eyes fixed on the shore, striving 
through the mist to catch the last glimpse of Cagliari. 
Suddenly I saw two figures moving along- the quay. "'Tis 
Hortense and Eugene," I said ; " they have come to look 
for their benefactor ;" and watched them as they pro- 
ceeded slowly back into the town, till the sea-fog shut 
them out from my sight. 

Within a few days I again reached Naples, and thence 
set out for Rome, by way of Muro and the Apennines, 
anxiously retracing every scene over which I had so lately 
travelled with Hortense. 'Twas a sickly feeling to pam- 
per, but I could not help it. The chapel where I had 
watched her sleeping, the hill from which I had pointed 
out to her the first view of Muro; but, above all, the 
little mountain convent, where she had shown me such 
unwearied kindness in my illness ; — oh, who shall say with 
what emotion I again beheld these objects. Yet, forlorn 
as they all appeared, they were still sacred, for they were 
indissolubly linked with the memory of Hortense. 
" Here," I exclaimed, " she sang her evening Ave Maria ; 
and here, from the spot where I now stand, she bade me 
mark the distant Mediterranean. Perhaps she is gazing 
on it still; but she thinks not of me ; oh, no ! far happier 
thoughts engross her mind, and De Grey, like a dream, 
is forgotten." 

This bitter, perhaps ungenerous, reflection continued to 
haunt me for years ; and often, in the midst of crowds, 


when a fairer form than usual flitted across my path, I 
turned with a sigh to the recollection of Hortense. I 
thought of that sweet pale face which had so often bent 
over me in sickness, of those rosy lips which mine had 
once pressed, of that smile which used to greet me in the 
morning, and all those endearing- graces by which, uncon- 
sciously as it were, a beautiful girl winds herself into the 
affections of man. Even to this day, her image blooms 
green in memory. Every spot that I visit brings her to 
my mind. She is beside me in my father's halls; she 
walks with me at sunset among the woods of Gwynnevay ; 
her voice speaks in the summer wind ; and ever, when in 
dreams the Apennines rise before me, I see her gliding like 
a spirit among their solitudes. But years have passed, and 
they are gathered to their kindred dust, Eugene and his 
devoted Hortense ; their very names have long since 
perished, and all that is now known of them is— that they 
once existed. 


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Carbonic Acid. 

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uj. vininur ai xivj 



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BEITISH RURAL SPORTS : comprising Shooting, Hunting, 
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QHOOTING : a Manual of Practical Information on this 
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Contents : — The Gun — The Dog — Modes of using the Gun and the Dog 
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THE SOLITARY HUNTER; or, Sporting Adventures in 
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The Adventures of this Solitary Hunter amongst buffalos, bears, and wolves aro 
unsurpassed in interest. 


CTING CHARADES. Bv Miss Bowman. 

IDDLES AND JOKES, "illustrated. By EnMryiCRouu >■ BSE. 
IOLA.: By Miss Goldsmiiv 
T. JAMES'S. By AixsVoutic. 
ELLINGTON. By MacFarlane. 
NCLE TOM'S CABIN. By Mrs. Stowe. 

CAR OF WAKEFIELD. Bv Goldsmith. 
OSSES PROS! A MANSE. By X. Hawthorne. 
E\V ZEALAND. By Earp. 
[DDEX PATH. By IIaui.anh. 

GLISH TRAITS.' By Emerson. 
VANGKLfNE. By Longfellow. 

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AULA ROOKIE By Thomas' Moore. 



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ILE DINNER QUESTION. By Tai-.iiiia Ticki.ltoottj. 

<>/,Y NOOK TALES. By Mr. Gliii. 

THERINE. By Jules Sanihcau. 
HE FORTUNE TELLER. By Lawi'oim... 

lady's Captivity among Chinese pirates. By Fanny